India’s men’s football team suffered its heaviest defeat in 11 years on Monday as Igor Stimac’s men went down 0-6 to the United Arab Emirates in a friendly match in Dubai.
The result came as a shock to many as India had done well to earn a hard-fought draw against Oman in their previous game.
Coach Igor Stimac gave game-time to many new faces in the match against UAE, making as many as eight changes to the starting XI. But his experiment backfired as UAE dominated throughout.
The hosts, ranked 74 in the Fifa Rankings, managed to get an early lead thanks to Ali Mabkhout, with the striker going on to score a hat-trick.
Playing against higher-ranked opponents is sure to benefit India but the manner of their defeat to UAE is concerning. Most of the players competed in the recently-concluded Indian Super League season and were expected to give a better account of themselves.
This was India’s biggest defeat since they went down 1-9 to Kuwait in a friendly in 2010. The result is a considerable blow as the team had shown promise by climbing up the rankings in recent years.
A look at India’s biggest defeats over the past decade show that the men in blue have almost always struggled against the top teams.
The frequency of huge defeats has reduced since then but India have continued to suffer major hiccups, like the one against UAE on Monday, at regular intervals since the turn of the millennium.
In the table below, we have a list of India’s big defeats since the year 1938. The criteria for the list is a minimum deficit of four goals and one can see that India have suffered 13 such defeats over the past two decades.
|Merdeka Cup||1969||Burma||Kuala Lumpur||0-6|
|Merdeka Cup||1971||Burma||Kuala Lumpur||1-9|
|Merdeka Cup||1971||Phillipines||Kuala Lumpur||1-5|
|Friendly||1971||Soviet Union||Soviet Union||0-5|
|Merdeka Cup||1973||Malaysia||Kuala Lumpur||0-4|
|Merdeka Cup||1976||Japan||Kuala Lumpur||1-5|
|Merdeka Cup||1976||Malaysia||Kuala Lumpur||1-5|
|Merdeka Cup||1976||Thailand||Kuala Lumpur||2-6|
|Merdeka Cup||1976||South Korea||Kuala Lumpur||0-8|
|President Cup||1976||South Korea||Seoul||0-4|
|World Cup Qualifier||1993||South Korea||Seoul||0-7|
|Asian Cup Qualifier||1996||Indonesia||Kuala Lumpur||1-7|
|World Cup Qualifier||1996||Qatar||Doha||0-6|
|World Cup Qualifier||2004||Oman||Kochi||1-5|
|World Cup Qualifier||2004||Japan||Saitama||0-7|
|World Cup Qualifier||2004||Japan||Kolkata||0-4|
|Asian Cup Qualifier||2006||Japan||Yokohama||0-6|
|Asian Cup Qualifier||2006||Saudi Arabia||Jeddah||1-7|
|AFC Challenge Cup||2012||North Korea||Kathmandu||0-4|
|World Cup Qualifier||2016||Iran||Tehran||0-4|