Tag: Indian football


FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: Lacklustre India start life after Sunil Chhetri with must-win encounter at Asian champs Qatar with progression to Round 3 at stake

What’s life after Sunil Chhetri going to look like? How about a do-or-die World Cup qualifier against reigning Asian champions Qatar in Doha to find out?It’s a tall order for India head coach Igor Stimac and his team – win and the country qualifies for its first-ever World Cup Round 3 appearance. Draw, and the result of the match between Kuwait and Afghanistan dictates their fate. Lose, and crash out of the World Cup qualifiers, with very little as viable excuse as to what went wrong. The three scenarios have come about after some catastrophic, yet predictable, performances by the national team in these World Cup qualifiers. India would have felt disappointed at their AFC Asian Cup group, being lumped with Australia and Uzbekistan – two teams that consistently rank among Asia’s top-eigh...

India send Sunil Chhetri into retirement with dull draw with Kuwait, which puts passage to next round of World Cup qualifiers in great danger

An overcast sky over Salt Lake Stadium reflected the sullen mood in the Indian camp as their talismanic striker Sunil Chhetri laced up his boots for one final time in the World Cup qualifier against Kuwait – a match that ultimately ended in 0-0, with India’s dream of qualifying for the next round getting even harder to realise. As the departing skipper stepped onto the ground for warm-up an hour before the match, the steadily-filling stadium roared its approval. Chhetri, on his part, acknowledged the cheers before joining his teammates for the practice drills. Even though Chhetri had said the day before the match that of more significance was India’s chance to qualify for the third round of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers, something that hadn’t been done in the country’s history, the magn...

Real Madrid maestro Luka Modric pays tribute to Indian captain Sunil Chhetri: ‘You are a legend of the game’

Real Madrid’s Champions League winner and Croatian football captain Luka Modric had a heartwarming message for the Indian football captain Sunil Chhetri ahead of his last international game on Thursday. Modric, who recently won his sixth UEFA Champions League title with Real Madrid, was all praise for Chhetri ahead of his final appearance for India. “Hi Sunil, I want to say congratulations and wish you all the best in your last game for the national team. You are a legend of this game. To your teammates, I hope you make his last game memorable. Good luck and win it for your captain,” Modric said in a video that was shared by Indian head coach Igor Stimac on his social media. “Thank you Luka. We will do everything in our power to make our country and our captain proud,” Stimac, himself a...