India squad for FIFA WC Qualifier against Kuwait: Gogoi, Hammad miss out due to injuries

Bhubaneswar, May 24 (PTI) Forward Parthib Gogoi and defender Muhammad Hammad were left out due to injuries as India announced a 27-member squad for the World Cup qualifying match against Kuwait on June 6 which would mark the end of long-serving captain and ace striker Sunil Chhetri’s international career.

The squad for the game to be held in Kolkata was announced by head coach Igor Stimac.

A total of 32 players had been camping in Bhubaneswar, out of which five — Phurba Lachenpa, Parthib, Imran Khan, Hammad and Jithin MS — have been released from the camp.

“All of them were very professional and hard-working. The competition is really strong amongst them, especially in the positions of Jithin and Parthib,” Stimac said in a media release.

“Parthib and Hammad suffered minor injuries a few days back and will need 7-14 days of rest,” he added without specifying the nature of injuries.

The remaining players will continue to train in Bhubaneswar until May 29 when they will travel to Kolkata.

The Blue Tigers will face Kuwait at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan on June 6.

Following the match against Kuwait, India will travel to take on Qatar on June 11 in their last two matches of Group A.

India are currently placed second in the group, with four points from four matches.

The top two teams in the group will qualify for Round 3 of the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers and book their berth at the AFC Asian Cup Saudi Arabia 2027.

Chhetri, 39, announced his decision to retire from international football on May 17.

The match against Kuwait will bring the curtains down on a glittering 19-year career during which he became India’s top goal-scorer with 94 strikes.

He will leave the scene as India’s most-capped player after competing in 151 matches at the end of his swansong contest.

Chhetri will bow out third in the list of goal scorers among active players behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

He currently sits fourth in the all-time list of international goal-scorers.

The Squad:

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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.

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