AFC U22 Championship Qualifiers: Oman thrashes India's hope of qualification

Indian team prior to the kick-off against Oman

India U22 0-4 Oman U22
Oman U22: Hamood Saleh (54th), Faed Ibrahim(67th), Saleh Hadid(75th) Mubarak Humaid(89th)

India U22 needed no less than a win to qualify for the main phase of the tournament but Oman proved to be too heavy to deal with for the Junior Blue Tigers who creditably made it this far despite all odds staked against them. Oman came out of this match with a 4-0 win despite India's dominance in possession.

Hamood Saleh scored the first goal for Oman in the 54th minute while Faed Ibrahim scored the second goal in the 67th minute. Besides, Saleh Hadid and Mubarak Humaid scored one apiece.

After a dominating first half, India lost control in the second half. If it was all India in the first 45 minutes, the first 20 minutes of the second half settled the issue for the hosts. India finished with 7 points from 5 matches while Oman on 10 points from 7 matches.

India started the match on a bright note. They absorbed the initial pressure and slowly started the buildup. A Lalrindika Ralte freekick from striking zone struck the Wall and Manandeep Singh’s powerful left footer was punched out by rival goalkeeper Mazin Masud in the 21st minute. Manandeep again broke free in the 30th minute and ran inside the box but Masud managed to keep him at bay.

For the hosts, 19-year old Raed Ibrahim stayed the pivot. Being a part of the Senior Oman side in the World Cup Qualifiers, he was nippy to create problems for the Indian defence. But the two Central defenders Prathamesh Maulingkar and and Shouvik Ghosh stood tall.

On the other hand, Alwyn George was creating all sorts of problems for the rival defence. Oman were not willing to allow him space and once he started his run, he got suffocated at the top of the rival box. In the 43rd minute, his back volley sailed over.

But Oman came back with more purpose in the second half. They didn’t allow the Indians to settle down and were eventually rewarded when Hamood Saleh tapped in a Abdullah Saleh pass in the 54th minute. Minutes later, Saleh’s header hit the post.

Jeje Lalpehlua was introduced in the 63rd minute in place of Romeo Fernandes. But Oman pressed hard and Faed Ibrahim made it 2-0 in the 67th minute after he had sneaked down the right. A minute after Faed’s goal, Manandeep’s header off a Dika corner missed by a whisker.

But Oman struck again. Pranay Halder brought down Badar Nasib inside the box and though off the resultant penalty Gurpreet Singh Sandhu kept it at bay, Saleh Hadid tapped in the rebound.

In the 88th minute, a Jeje rasper from the top box was saved by Mazin for a corner and off the counter attack, Mubarak Humaid made it 4-0.

INDIA: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (Captain); Vishal Kumar (Abhishek Das – 71st), Prathamesh Maulinkar, Souvik Ghosh, Pritam Kotal; Milan Singh, Romeo Fernandes (Jeje Lalpekhlua – 64th), Pranay Halder (Deepak Prakash – 82nd), Alwyn George, Lalrindika Ralte, Manandeep Singh.
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About Debraj Banerjee

Hi, I am Debraj Banerjee from Adra, West Bengal. A keen follower of Indian football and always an optimist that the game will get the recognition it truely deserves. What we ask from you is your support and one day the dream might turn true. Fingers crossed for Indian football. Cheers!

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