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India vs Kuwait: All past meetings

India and Kuwait have faced each other four times in the past. Take a look here at all the meetings between India and Kuwait so far.

Last updated: 12.11.2023

Indian Men’s national team will begin their quest in the crucial FIFA World Cup 2026 & AFC Asian Cup 2027 joint qualifiers in November, a week from now. Starting from the second round, the Blue Tigers are paired with some strong oppositions like Asian Champions and 2022 World Cup hosts in Qatar, Kuwait and Afghanistan who qualified from Round 1. India has never been in Round 3 in its history of FIFA World Cup qualifiers so their objective this time is to fulfill it.             

The national team will open the qualifiers with a trip to Kuwait on 14th November 2023. India is set to battle the Middle Eastern nation for the first time in FIFA World Cup qualifiers and for the third time this year. Twice they met in the SAFF Championship hosted by India in July this year, one in the group stages and the other in the final of the competition. Overall, these two nations have faced each other four times each time bringing major storylines. Both sides have picked up one win in each so this will be a chance for either of them to go ahead in head-to-head record.      

Here are all the meetings between India and Kuwait so far:  


India 1-6 Kuwait - Asian Games (17 December 1978)

The first-ever meeting between India and Kuwait took place in the 1978 Asian Games hosted in Bangkok, Thailand. It was the first group match in the main round, the format back then, which Kuwait managed to win fairly comfortably to the disappointment of the Blue Tigers who qualified after coming second in their preliminary round group. India, eventually, finished dead last in the standings after three games with no points earned, two goals scored and 12 conceded.

Kuwait 2-3 India - International Friendly (5 November 2004)

India’s men’s team is visiting Kuwait for the second time and has positives to look at their only other visit back in 2004. This time, the Blue Shirts won a thriller that ended 3-2 in their favour. Abhishek Yadav scored the all-important winner in the 75th minute with the youngest ever goal-scorer for the national team in the game, Jerry Zirsanga and Tomba Singh also converting from their strikes. India had to come from behind twice in the game to get the win after Al-Azraq scored the opener in the 35th minute while Bashar Abdullah put Kuwait back in the lead in the second half. The Indian team was managed by a certain Stephen Constantine.    


India 1-9 Kuwait - International Friendly (14 November 2010)

Six years the sides met again in an international friendly game as well. This game was used as one of the preparatory games for India taking part in the 2011 Asian Cup, managed by Bob Houghton. However, the Blue Tigers were humiliated by Kuwait 9-1 making it one of the worst defeats suffered by the team in its history. Al-Azraq, as they are known, led by 3-0 at half-time and managed to chip in six more after the break. Substitute Mohammed Rafi scored the consolation but it hardly ever lifted the mood of the injured ravaged side in the game played in Dubai.  


India 1-1 Kuwait - SAFF Championship 2023 (27 June 2023)

The first home meeting with Kuwait and the second competitive game of this fixture came for India 13 years later. In June 2023, India hosted the 14th edition of the SAFF Championship and took on the Middle-Eastern side in the third group game for the decider. It was a feisty affair in which the Blue Tigers took the lead through skipper Sunil Chhetri on the stroke of half-time but a late own goal from Anwar Ali snapped India’s winning run in the competition and also their eight-game clean sheet record. There were also heated moments in the game and players from both sides, Rahim Ali of India and Hamad Al Qallaf of Kuwait sent-off after a brawl.    

India 1(5)-1(4) Kuwait - SAFF Championship 2023 (4 July 2023)

Kuwait ultimately topped the group on the virtue of scoring more goals but leveled with India in terms of points and goal difference. However, Igor Stimac’s side did the trick when it mattered with the duo meeting again in the same competition in the SAFF final. This time Kuwait took the lead in the match, the first time India went behind this year and conceded from open play, through Al-Khaldi in the 14th minute but Lallianzuala Chhangte responded in the 38th minute. The score remained 1-1 after extra-time so penalties beckoned which was a dramatic end to the contest. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu saved Kuwait’s captain Khalid El Ebrahim's spot-kick as the deciding moment to help India lift their record nine SAFF title.

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