The Indian national football team suffered a humiliating 1-9 defeat at the hands of Kuwait in an international friendly match played as part of preparations for next next year's Asian Cup, in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
The Indians, who were preparing in the UAE for the January 7-29 AFC Asian Cup in Doha, were completely outplayed by the West Asians who pumped in three goals in the opening half and went on to score six more in the second session.
Al Qadsia striker Bader Al Mutawa struck four times (25th, 55th, 66th and 90th) while Yousef Naser Al Sulaiman (20th), Jarah Al Ataiqi (29th, penalty), Fahad Al Enezi (51st), Khaled Khalaf (56th) Hammad Naif Al Enezi (75th) found the target once each as the Kuwaitis scored goals almost at will at the Al-Wahda Stadium.
Mohammed Rafi scored a consolation goal for India in the 69th minute.
The heavy defeat will surely affect the morale of Bob Houghton's boys as they had also lost 0-2 to
Asian champions Iraq on November 11. They now take on UAE in their final international friendly of the month on November 18.
Before the match though, the Indians were boosted by the arrival of Celtic player Michael Chopra who had evinced interest in playing for the national team.
Team sources said Chopra, the ex-Sunderland player, met Houghton on Sunday along with his agents to discuss any possibility of his donning India colours in future.
Chopra's grandparents were born in India and under FIFA rules he can play for India. But the hurdle could be the Indian government's policy that only its citizens can represent the country and any Person of Indian Origin will have to surrender the passport of the other country.
A few years back, the All India Football Federation had mulled on allowing PIOs to play for the country but later dropped the idea as the matter was found to be too complicated.