India vs Kuwait: Igor Stimac hopes fans will make Sunil Chhetri's farewell game memorable

The Kuwait game will mark the end of Sunil Chhetri's glittering 19-year career

Sunil Chhetri Indian football legend Sunil Chhetri | AFP

Indian football team head coach Igor Stimac expects fans from all over the country to throng the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata during the country's World Cup qualification match against Kuwait on June 6, which will also be the last international match for talismanic captain Sunil Chhetri.

The match against Kuwait will mark the end of Sunil Chhetri's glittering 19-year international career during which he became India's topscorer with 94 goals. He will leave the scene as India's most-capped player after competing in 151 matches at the end of his swansong contest.

A win against Kuwait will also put India in a strong position to make it to the third round of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers for the first time in its history.

"Having in mind the importance of the game -- with us being perhaps only a win away from qualifying for the third round for the first time, and it being Sunil Chhetri's farewell game -- we expect the Salt Lake Stadium to be packed," Stimac said.

"I am sure that our supporters will reach Kolkata from all parts of India to help our boys win the game and say thanks and goodbye to Sunil. I am very confident it's going to be emotional and hopefully, we will find a way to celebrate together after the final whistle," he said in a release from the All India Football Federation (AIFF).

"The boys are doing well. It has been proven more than once that a long camp always helps us. We are working on various aspects of the game, both offensive and defensive," said the head coach.

"Our fitness levels are getting better each day, and now we enter the phase of working on our tactics. From Monday onwards, we are going to work on positioning, set pieces and transitions."

The Blue Tigers were originally supposed to depart for Kolkata on June 2, but have advanced their travel to the West Bengal capital on May 29 to get a full week of stay in the city and adjust to the conditions better.

"It's obviously hot and humid here, but we enjoy every training session. The facilities and hospitality are amazing here. But still, we have decided to leave for Kolkata a few days earlier than planned so we can adjust to the humidity better and prepare for the crucial game," said Stimac. 

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