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.

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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.

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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.

Match Year Opponent Venue Result
Friendly 1938 Western Australia Perth 1-5
Olympics 1952 Yugoslavia Helsinki 1-10
Friendly 1955 Soviet Union Moskva 1-11
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
Asian Games 1974 China Tehran 1-7
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
President Cup 1976 Malaysia Seoul 0-4
President Cup 1977 Thailand Daegu 0-4
Asian Games 1978 Kuwait Bangkok 1-6
Friendly 1984 Suriname Paramaribo 2-6
World Cup Qualifier 1993 South Korea Seoul 0-7
Nehru Cup 1995 Thailand Kolkata 0-5
Asian Cup Qualifier 1996 Indonesia Kuala Lumpur 1-7
World Cup Qualifier 1996 Qatar Doha 0-6
Friendly 1998 Uzbekistan –– 0-4
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
Friendly 2010 Kuwait Abu Dhabi 1-9
Friendly 2010 UAE Abu Dhabi 0-5
Asian Cup 2011 Australia Doha 0-4
Friendly 2011 Zambia Goa 0-5
Friendly 2012 Oman Muscat 1-5
AFC Challenge Cup 2012 North Korea Kathmandu 0-4
World Cup Qualifier 2016 Iran Tehran 0-4
Friendly 2021 UAE Dubai 0-6
*minimum deficit of four goals

Stats courtesy Wikipedia / Soccerway / 11v11