In the opening match of the second round of FIFA 2026 World Cup qualifiers, Team India defeated Kuwait 1-0. They will now host Qatar on November 21.
On Thursday, India’s men’s football team defeated Kuwait in the FIFA World Cup 2026 AFC qualifiers, kicking off Round 2 with a win. Manvir Singh scored the game’s lone goal in the 75th minute to enable India to defeat Kuwait at Jaber Al-Ahmad International Stadium.
India is in Round 2 Group A with Kuwait, Qatar, and Afghanistan. The next match for India is against Qatar on November 21 in Bhubaneswar. To qualify for the third round, India must finish in the top two of Group A at the end of Round 2.
Each of the four teams in Group A, as well as the eight other AFC groups, will compete in a double round-robin style in Round 2. Between November 2023 and June 2024, they will face each other at home and away. That means India will face Kuwait, Qatar, and Afghanistan in the coming months, both at home and away.
India’s Road To FIFA World Cup 2026
India faces a difficult but straightforward path ahead. They hope to finish in the top two of Group A to advance to the next round of World Cup qualifying.
As a result, nine group winners and respective runner-ups will advance to Round 3. Securing this berth not only secures their advancement but also their place in the 2027 AFC Asian Cup.
A draw will be held in 2024 to identify three groups of six teams each for the third round. The top two teams from each of these groups will advance to the main event.
India finished third in their group in the previous 2022 World Cup Qualifiers, missing out on direct promotion. Qatar and Oman took the top two slots and advanced to the next round.
India is rated 102nd in the world. It will not be easy against Qatar, which is rated 61st in the FIFA standings. This game will be held at Bhubaneswar’s Kalinga Stadium.
It wasn’t easy against Kuwait, who were down to a 10-man squad after Faizal Zaid Al-Harbi was sent off in second-half stoppage time. Kuwait had begun the game brightly, controlling the ball for the majority of the first half.
However, as time progressed, India’s midfield pressed higher and began to create chances for the forwards. In the 18th minute, Sahal Abdul Samad got a chance but failed to convert it into a goal. Both teams battled until Manvir scored the game-winning goal in the 75th minute.
Sunil Chhetri, the Blue Tigers’ captain, and seasoned player, must perform well in the remaining Round 2 games.