Football

IND Vs KUW, FIFA WC 2026 Qualifiers: Sunil Chhetri Retires As India Play Out A Goalless Draw Against Kuwait - As It Happened

The Indian football captain Sunil Chhetri retired from international football following the FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers match against Kuwait on Thursday. The Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata was adorned with large posters and billboards thanking Chhetri and showing support for the Indian team. A large crowd gathered to witness Chhetri's final appearance in the blue jersey. The match concluded in a goalless draw, maintaining India's unbeaten record at the Salt Lake Stadium since 2006. Chhetri announced his retirement from the international arena after the game, cementing his legacy as a 'Legend' of the sport. The Indian team will now face Qatar in their next match on Tuesday. Catch the highlights of the IND Vs KUW, FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers match, here

Indian captain Sunil Chhetri after the ball in his farewell match against Kuwait in FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifiers match. Photo: AIFF Media

IND Vs KUW, FIFA WC 2026 Qualifiers, Highlights

Here are the highlights of the FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers match between India and Kuwait played at Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on Thursday. The Indian football captain Sunil Chhetri retired from international football following the FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers match against Kuwait on Thursday. The Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata was adorned with large posters and billboards thanking Chhetri and showing support for the Indian team. A large crowd gathered to witness Chhetri's final appearance in the blue jersey. The match concluded in a goalless draw, maintaining India's unbeaten record at the Salt Lake Stadium since 2006. Chhetri announced his retirement from the international arena after the game, cementing his legacy as a 'Legend' of the sport. The Indian team will now face Qatar in their next match on Tuesday. Catch the highlights of the IND Vs KUW, FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers match, here. (Streaming)

Sunil Chhetri's Farewell Game

This is going to be the last time that Indian captain Sunil Chhetri will be seen in the blue jersey representing India. He has 94 goals in international football, which is behind only Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Iran's Ali Daei. Croatia and Real Madrid legend footballer Luka Modric sent a video message for Chhetri on his farewell match calling him a "legend of the game".

India Squad:

Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh, Vishal Kaith

Defenders: Amey Ranawade, Anwar Ali, Jay Gupta, Lalchungnunga, Mehtab Singh, Narender, Nikhil Poojary, Rahul Bheke, Subhasish Bose

Midfielders: Anirudh Thapa, Brandon Fernandes, Edmund Lalrindika, Jeakson Singh Thounaojam, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Liston Colaco, Mahesh Singh Naorem, Nandhakumar Sekar, Sahal Abdul Samad, Suresh Singh Wangjam

Forwards: David Lalhlansanga, Manvir Singh, Rahim Ali, Sunil Chhetri, Vikram Partap Singh.

India Vs Kuwait: IND Lineup

IND VS KUW: Head To Head Record

India and Kuwait have played six times before and India have won three matches. One match ended in a draw and Kuwait have won two matches.

What India Need?

India need to defeat Kuwait in the match anyhow. A draw or defeat would make things worse for the Indian side.

India Vs Kuwait: KUW Lineup

Sulaiman (GK), Alenezi, Ibrahim, Abdulah, Alharbi, Alrashidi, Aldousari, Abujabarah, Saleh (C), Alsulaiman, Hasan Alenezi

Stay Tuned!

The action will start in a few minutes as players from both teams are out in the middle and doing warm-ups before the start. The match will start at 7:00 PM IST. India have not lost any match since 2006 at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata.

What Chhetri Said?

On the eve of the crucial clash against Kuwait, Chhetri who announced that he would retire from international football after the match against Kuwait last month, refused to reconsider his decision.

"No sir, suits are made and I am going to watch the boys play. I have thought about it a lot. I had a great ride all this 19 years. I will go as a fan and support the team wherever the team goes," he said.

Chhetri enjoyed a career in Indian football like no one else. Scoring 94 goals in 150 matches since his debut 19 years ago, Chhetri held the record of being the third-highest active goal-scorer.

'The Last Dance' Starts

After both teams were done with the national anthems, there was a one-minute silence for Senior AIFF (All India Football Federation) official Anil Kamat. India takes the attacking field as the whistle blows.

India 0-0 Kuwait (4')

Mohamed Abdulah timed his run well as a through pass pierced the Indian backline and reached Kuwait's No. 9. He makes a run at goal and attempts to pass to the far corner, but Gurpreet comes off his line and gets a hand on the ball. The ball strikes the edge of the side netting and goes out for a corner.

India 0-0 Kuwait (8')

Daham finds his way inside the box before cutting back. He tries to lob the ball at the far post in the hopes of finding a teammate, but Gurpreet utilises his long reach to catch it mid-air.

India 0-0 Kuwait (11')

Colaco utilises his natural speed to get to the ball on the left wing. He goes past the defender and squares the ball, hoping to reach Chhetri, who has already made the run. However, Alenezi is there to intercept the ball and throw it out for a corner kick.

India 0-0 Kuwait (12')

Thapa sends a great cross into the box from the corner, and Anwar Ali meets it with his header. His connection is good, but he can't keep his header on target. Another great opportunity for the Blue Tigers to grab the lead.

India 0-0 Kuwait (18')

Kuwait have established a defensive posture, and India will have to work hard to create an opening. So far, the Al Azraq has made no mistakes in the back, unlike the Blue Tigers, who have been sloppy on times.

India 0-0 Kuwait (23')

India are unable to win the second ball, which is why Kuwait are dominant in the centre of the park. But whenever the ball is in the Indian player's control, the crowd is roaring and shouting for their team.

India 0-0 Kuwait (25')

Alharbi lobs the ball, giving Alrashidi a clear shot at goal. Gurpreet moves off his line, forcing Alrashidi to try to chip the goalie. However, he is unable to keep his efforts focused. The Indians are anxious right now.

India 0-0 Kuwait (30')

Thapa delivers another beautiful ball into the area from the freekick. The ball is first cleared, but it eventually falls to Sahal, whose shot is stopped. The rebound falls to Colaco, who threads his laces through the ball but only hits the side netting.

India 0-0 Kuwait (33')

India maintain a huge queue following the drink break. It manages to keep Kuwait players on their toes with a sustained period of pressure in and around the penalty area. However, Bento's troops remain cool and prevent the Indians from establishing a significant opportunity.

India 0-0 Kuwait (37')

Alrashidi has his sights set on goal as he pulls the trigger from a distance. He shoots hard and low but cannot keep the ball on target. Gurpreet seemed to have already covered his target.

India 0-0 Kuwait (40')

Sahal attempts to throw the ball to Poojary on the right touchline, but a misunderstanding allows Chhangte to collect the ball and take it away from the Indians. The Blue Tigers have yet to get a shot on goal in this encounter.

India 0-0 Kuwait (45')

Chhangte uses his swift feet to pass his marker on the right wing. He challenges Alenezi and makes a run. He looks for a low cross but delays it, resulting in his cross being stopped.

India 0-0 Kuwait (45+1')

Four minutes are added to the first half. Chhangte hit a long ball as the player attempted to peel from his opponent. However, the pass is overhit, and even the speedy Chhangte is unable to keep the ball from leaving the pitch.

India 0-0 Kuwait - Half-Time!

As the squad takes a half-time break at Salt Lake Stadium, the score is tied. India has had a few opportunities, but it has yet to establish itself and have an influence on the game. Chhetri has not been able to participate as much as he would have liked as he dons the national colours for the final time. We'll be back in the second half.

Second-Half Starts

The second half of the match is underway and Sunil Chhetri has only 45 minutes left before he retires from the sport.

India 0-0 Kuwait (46')

India Substitute: IN- Rahim, Brandon OUT- Thapa, Sahal

India 0-0 Kuwait (47')

Alharbi attempts a first-time shot from a tight angle after receiving a cross from the left. Gurpreet extends his right hand and makes a fantastic save.

India 0-0 Kuwait (48')

Rahim has an opportunity to start the scoring for his squad. He finds his way inside the box and goes one-on-one with Kuwait's keeper, Abdulghafoor. He shoots low, but the Kuwaiti keeper reacts swiftly and makes a wonderful save.

India 0-0 Kuwait (52')

Alrashidi fires a stinging shot from the edge of the box. Gurpreet is sharp enough to make a nice stop at the near post. Alrashidi also fared well in defeating Jay Gupta before he fired the gun.

India 0-0 Kuwait (55')

First Yellow Card - Alanezi receives a yellow card for knocking down Rahim Ali as India attempts a counter-attack.

India 0-0 Kuwait (60')

Brandon's corner reaches Chhetri first, but he is unable to get a clean touch. Bheke then tries to power a header at goal but fails to get a good touch, and Abdulghafoor gathers it.

India 0-0 Kuwait (63')

Kuwait substitute: IN- Aldhefiri OUT- Alharbi 

India 0-0 Kuwait (70')

Abdulah receives the ball near the Indian penalty area. With time and room to aim, he pulls the trigger, only to watch his shot soar beyond the crossbar.

India 0-0 Kuwait (71')

India substitute: IN- Manvir OUT- Colaco

India 0-0 Kuwait (77')

Chhangte has the opportunity to select one of his three teammates within the box. He sends the ball to Manvir at the far post, who attempts but fails to handle it.

India 0-0 Kuwait (80')

Kuwait substitute: IN- Al Khalaf, Alenezi OUT- Alrashidi, Abujabarah

India 0-0 Kuwait (82')

India mount a counterattack. Chhetri grabs the ball and transfers it to Rahim Ali. Ali notices Chhangte to his left and attempts to transfer it to him. However, the pass is overhit, and Ibrahim mounts a strong challenge to block the attempt.

India 0-0 Kuwait (83')

India substitute: IN- Edmund OUT- Jay Gupta

Edmund Lalrindika makes his Indian debut. He is the first I-League player to make their Indian debut in five years. The last player to achieve so was Salam Ranjan Singh.

India 0-0 Kuwait (85')

Kuwait substitute: IN- Al-Sanea, Al Hajeri OUT- Aldosary, Ibrahim

India 0-0 Kuwait (90')

Seven minutes added in the second-half.

India 0-0 Kuwait (90+3')

Edmund and Al-Sanea fight over the ball on the touchline. Alenezi rushes in and shoves Edmund to the ground directly in front of the referee, resulting in drama at the end of the match.

India 0-0 Kuwait (90+5')

Edmund receives a yellow card for his altercation with Al-Sanea. Whereas, the Kuwaiti player, Alenezi displays a yellow card for responding.

India 0-0 Kuwait (90+6')

Brandon gets an opportunity to make something happen right at the end with a freekick, but his delivery is underwhelming, as the floating cross goes out of play.

Full-Time!

The match ends goalless, which is hardly the best way to end Sunil Chhetri's international career. India will have to wait till the third round to qualify for the AFC Asian Cup. There have been 151 appearances for India. 94 goals and eleven assists. While the Indian captain's career has not had a storybook conclusion, he exits as India's most decorated player.

Chhetri Retires!

The veteran footballer Sunil Chhetri bid farewell to his international career and goes down as one of the most decorated footballers of all time. He finished as India's finest with 151 appearances, 94 goals and 11 assists.

Goodnight!

Sunil Chhetri went down as one of the greatest international football players of all time as he bid farewell to his international career. India will face Qatar on Tuesday in their next encounter. That's all from our side. Goodnight!

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