Will Regain Its Stability | For World Cup Qualifiers
In the AFC 2027 Asian Cup and 2026 World Cup Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2, India will take against Kuwait at home.
Coach of the Indian football team, Igor Stimac, emphasizes the importance of maintaining optimism and adds that the task has become more difficult in advance of the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers due to injuries to important players like Ashique Kuruniyan and Jeakson Singh.
Next week, India will meet Kuwait at their den in the AFC 2027 Asian Cup Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2 and the 2026 World Cup. India will participate in the Asian Cup in January of the following year. We’ve started a new phase of our work, and we already know the boys will find it quite challenging.
We need to find a way to balance the team and offer strength, especially at the back, since we started surrendering goals, which I did not enjoy recently, even though some of the goals came as a result of terrible officiating decisions. That’s our goal right now, but I’m delighted to see the lads playing in the ISL on a regular basis, and that the majority of them are taking on key roles in their teams and carrying a lot of responsibility. It’s a solid and beneficial development for the national team
We know that the next few months until March will be very difficult,” Stimac told the All India Football Federation (AIFF) website.
“We are very optimistic then that once the players, who are missing now, are back, we will become solid again and show strength on the pitch, no matter who we play against.
“So, the focus at this moment is how to replace those boys who were the starting 11 players, such as Ashique Kuruniyan, Anwar Ali and Jeakson Singh (currently nursing injuries).
“They were the driving force behind our most recent triumphs. “These boys were a valuable asset to the team; they were excellent football players,” he continued.
Only once, in a friendly match played at home, did India defeat Kuwait 3-2. That was back in 2004.
When asked if the group is challenging, he gave a positive response and stated that finishing in second place is the goal.
“Yes, the group is extremely difficult and demanding since we are aware that these are the best teams and there won’t be any easy opponents. Apart from that, Kuwait was by far our greatest opponent starting in the third pot.
“To prepare well and to make sure that the national team gets enough time to secure the second spot in the group and qualify — that is our plan.” Stimac, who qualified Croatia for the World Cup in 1998 as a semifinalist, is assembling the team in the final few days before the Qualifiers.
To what extent would that aid in returning the boys to the targeted level?We have been planning this camp for a long time. We will have four or five days to do some training sessions and exercises and get ready for the first game, which is crucial because it is the opening game, against Kuwait. What has to be done is very evident to us.
In the not-too-distant past, Indian football supporters burst in excitement when India defeated Kuwait in the SAFF Championship final in July 2023. The Blue Tigers faced Kuwait not once, but twice – the first match resulted in a tight tie, only to be followed by a heart-pounding penalty shootout triumph at the finals in Bangalore.
“The guys must adjust to the fact that this will be an extremely challenging and unique game as quickly as possible. There won’t be much time for us to do this—we’ll just have one training session before the big game.
“There will therefore be obstacles and hurdles, but once more, we are aware of our strengths and know how to respond to a given circumstance. All we have to do is maintain our concentration and focus on the task we’ll assign to the players.” India has lately had the better of Kuwait; following a draw in the group stage, they defeated them on penalties in the SAFF Championship final.
We had a great time in Bhubaneswar, and I would love to visit the city as much as possible with our national team because of its excellent facilities, staff, training, and organizational abilities. Any coach would be thrilled to have that each time he gathers the players. Naturally, the journey to training is another point.
“After a protracted training camp, we played the SAFF Championship games against them. Furthermore, since we are currently in a different situation, our boys shouldn’t depend on the most recent victory. The boys play football at a different speed.
We will not deceive ourselves into believing that we will play the best football possible. Our attention is on the outcome and how to get it in the World Cup qualifying match.
“I would advise the players to move on from the events in June and July against Kuwait as quickly as possible and focus on any upcoming challenges and advancements.