The Indian men’s national team will face off against Kuwait in the final Group A match of the SAFF Championship 2023 at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, in Bengaluru, with the top spot in the group on the line. 

Both the hosts and the middle eastern outfit have won two games each and will square off for the pole position in Group A. India and Kuwait are also tied on goal difference and there is everything to play for in the final group match. 

The Blue Tigers have been in scintillating form and are unbeaten in their last 12 home games. However, they will have beat Kuwait to ensure a top spot in Group A as Kuwait have scored more goals that India in the competition so far and will finish top if the match ends in a draw. 

FIFA Ranking

India: 101

Kuwait: 143

Head-to-head record

India and Kuwait have met just three times in history and the Gulf team have the edge, winning two out of the three fixtures with one victory for India. However, the two wins that Kuwait have recorded have been big wins. They beat India 6-1 in the 1978 Asian Games and 9-1 in an international friendly in 2010. India’s solitary win came in 2004 when they beat Kuwait 3-2 in a five-goal thriller with Abhishek Yadav scoring the winner. 

Form Guide

India: WDWWW 

India have won four out of their last five matches and have not conceded a goal in this period. Igor Stimac’s men have excelled at both ends of the pitch with Sunil Chhetri leading ther goalscoring exploits. The Blue Tigers have netted nine times in their last five matches.

Kuwait: WWWWW

The Blue Wave have won their last five matches and are in red-hot form. They have scored 14 goals in that period and have conceded just twice. They recorded a win over higher-ranked UAE in recent times and are unbeaten in seven matches.

Key Battles

Anwar Ali vs Shabaib Al-Khaldi 

Anwar Ali has been one of most consistent defenders for India over the last year and has cemented his place in the Indian team. The Blue Tigers have barely been troubled at the back since he has been introduced in the team. 

However, he will be tested when he goes up against Kuwait’s Shabaib Al-Khaldi, who has made a big impact since making his debut for the national team. He has six goals in 24 appearances and the 24-year-old has already opened his account in the SAFF Championship against Nepal. Before the match against Pakistan, he had scored in four straight matches for Kuwait and will be a big threat to the team.

Sunil Chhetri vs Fahad Al Hajeri 

The Indian captain is in sublime form and has scored four goals in the tournament so far. With 91 international goals to his name, he is one of the greatest goalscorers in Asia and his skills have not blunted with age. 

In Fahad Al Hajeri, Kuwait have an experienced head who will bring all his knowhow to use to stop Chhetri from adding to the scoresheet and equaling Ali Ashfaq’s record of most goals in SAFF Championship history. 

Match Details

Fixture: Kuwait vs India

Date: June 27, 2023

Time: 7.30 PM

Venue: Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bengaluru

Telecast: DD Sports & Fancode