India vs Kuwait FIFA World Cup Second Round Qualifier Preview

India vs Kuwait FIFA World Cup Second Round Qualifier Preview

Courtesy: PTI

Kuwait’s story in football has been marked by an unprecedented rise to the top, Championing Asia within 19 years of their first ever International match, an even Qualification to the FIFA World Cup in 1982.

However, after such incredible performances, it only has been a slow downfall from the top, with their neighbours leapfrogging them in terms of quality and the National team not being even eligible to play at multiple occasions due to FIFA bans coming as a result of Governmental interference in the FA.

Kuwait’s tryst with the beautiful game is too fascinating to be just looked upon superficially. It requires a detailed description of exactly how this minuscule country which one needs to squint their eyes to spot in the world map became a giant of Asian football, and how it all fell down, how the sociopolitics and changing culture of the country affected football and vice versa, and how optimistic one can be in regards to their future.

Thus, this match preview of Kuwait’s encounter against India will be followed with a complete deep dive into Football in Kuwait in a separate article. This Preview will contain an overlook into the qualities, strengths and weaknesses of the Kuwaiti and Indian players most likely to be featuring on June 6 at the very Mecca of Indian Football itself, followed by what went right and wrong for both teams in their previous encounter which ended in a 1-0 victory for the Blue Tigers.

Kuwait couldn’t find the back of the net in their latest encounter against India. They really didn’t get more than two or three dangerous chances but those too very handled pretty well by the Indian defense. The Defensive midfield pivot of Suresh Wangjam and Apuia did well to cover the Center Backs and ward off some long ranger attempts.

Monitoring long range efforts will be crucial in the upcoming encounter as Kuwait has taken a lot of lessons from their defeat at home and will be trying new things out. This time around there will be no Apuia as he is busy giving his University exams, whereas Suresh Wangjam, although a favourite of head coach Igor Stimac, has not really performed well this season to be an unquestionable starter.

Jeakson Singh and Anirudh Thapa may more likely form the midfield defensive duo, along with Sahal Abdul Samad at attacking mid. Midfielders properly tracking and blocking off mpassing angles of advancing Kuwaiti Center Backs and midfielders will be quite crucial.

In the previous encounter, Right Back Fahad Al-Hajeri inverted and joined in attack multiple times, although his lack of pace to sustain counters might take him out of the team. It was from his side that India scored the lone goal of the match, where Subhashish found Chhangte through a narrow gap and Manvir slotted in his grounded cross. Instead a more traditional full back like Meshari Ghanam.