The Blue Tigers have played 14 matches this year, but none were as important as the one they will play in Kuwait due to it being a World Cup 2026 qualifier.
India’s hunt to qualify for the World Cup 2026 gets underway 30 months before the event as the Blue Barracuda take on 136- ranked Kuwait in the 60,000- seater Jaber Al- Ahmad International Stadium in the capital of the Middle Eastern country.
It was just over four months ago when Gurpreet Singh Sandhu’s outstretched left glove pushed out Kuwait captain Khaled Hajiah’s penalty to win the SAFF Championship final in Bengaluru. still, for Indian head trainer, Igor Stimac all that’s in the history now. The Croat has prompted his players to forget that and start with a clean slate.
“This match has nothing to do with the games we played two months agone
Because a lot of effects have changed since also, ” explained Igor Stimac at the pre-match press conference on Wednesday.
He points out the different circumstances, and several changes in both outfits. “ The players had a long rest and started the season with their clubs. India and Kuwait aren’t the same sides, we both have had a many injured players. But that’s normal in football. brigades change from month to month, ” he said.
The Blue Barracuda have played 14 matches this time, but none were as important as the bone they will play in Kuwait on Thursday. But the stakes were no way advanced, after all, it’s a World Cup qualifier.
More importantly, the matches also double up as qualifiers for the 2027 AFC Asian Cup as well. The top two in the group( reigning titleholders Qatar and Afghanistan are the other sides in Group A) won’t only progress to the final round of World Cup qualification but also bespeak their situation at the international showpiece in Saudi Arabia.
“We had a good medication. We trained for five days in Dubai, conforming to everything that we’re awaiting. How you open the qualifiers, with zero, one or three points, can make a huge difference, ” said a confident Stimac.
Indian midfielder Brandon Fernandes echoed his trainer’s sentiments. “ We anticipate a veritably delicate match. It’s important that we’ve a good launch in these qualifiers, and for that, we need to stay married and give everything on the pitch, ” said the 29- time-old.
The Indian trainer also refocused out the opponents ’ quality despite being ranked 34 places lower than India. The two matches between the two sides in Bengaluru ended 1- 1 in regulation time.
“Both brigades are analogous in strength. We’re well apprehensive that Kuwait earn a much better rank than where they’re right now. They will have the home advantage, but we ’re going to try and exclude that, ” Stimac added.
Ignominious for its heat, the Blue Barracuda were ate with light rain upon their appearance in Kuwait City, and the rain is read to stay for the coming couple of days.
“I suppose the players are happy then with a many drops of rain. It’s going to be a awful time playing football and enjoying the game, ” concluded the 56- time-old tactician. Know More Latest Football News…