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India vs Kuwait: Did India play good football?

Updated: Jul 27, 2023

Sunil Chettri

India played their last group-stage match against Kuwait, despite leading by 1-0 scoreline thanks to Sunil Chettri's volley from the corner, India ended the match with a 1-1 draw unfortunately conceding an own goal in the 88th minute.

How did India play?

India played brilliant football against a higher-quality opponent Kuwait. Don't judge Kuwait by their 143 Fifa ranking as their rank dropped due to FIFA ban issues over the past years. They are a side that can easily fit within the 75-80 rank.

Against such a technically & physically higher opponent India never looked outclassed but as a matter of fact, India was quite threatening in their transitions, creating a lot of goal-scoring chances but against the final third quality let the team down. Sunil Chettri again scored a wonderful volley from a corner. He has 92 International goals now.

Was the result good enough?

People who have been following Indian Football especially journalists showered praise towards the players and team management staff for the performance as we never looked outclassed by Kuwait. In 2009 Kuwait thrashed us 9-1 and in 2023 we were leading by 1-0 goals till the 88th minute when we conceded the own goal. Indian football has come a long way.

Calmness an issue within the Indian bench?

Yesterday was a high-intensity game in which the Indian National team rarely plays against a good opponent. The Kuwaiti players were trying to provoke the Indian players and the bench. Coach Igor Stimac saw his consecutive second red card in the SAFF Championship due to his disciplinary action which led to a break of concentration in the team. Such acts from a head coach are unacceptable at the International level.

The second incident was when Sahal Abdul Samad was punched by the Kuwaiti player on the face Rahim Ali the substitute for Sunil Chettri came in defense of Sahal and pushed the Kuwaiti player on the ground which he could have avoided. A 24 years striker can't be so much irresponsible and put his side in trouble with 1 man down.

What's Next?

Unfortunately, Sandesh Jinghan would be out of the semi-final fixture as he has seen 2 yellow cards in this tournament. India will probably face Lebanon in the semi-final and if the team would be able to put on a good performance throughout the 90 mins then surely India will play in the final of the SAFF Cup again.



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