Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier: India go down to Oman 1-2 at Kanteerava

Oman capitalize on Indian defensive blunders
India lost to Oman in a crunch encounter at Kanteerava Stadium, Bengaluru,
2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier, Round 2
Picture Courtesy:
Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup Joint Qualification, Round 2 - Group D
Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bengaluru
India 1-2 Oman
India: Sunil Chhetri(26th)
Oman: Qasim Said (1st), Emad Al Hosani (40th)

INDIA: Subrata Paul(GK), Rino Anto*, Dhanachandra Singh*, Arnab Mondal (Captain), Lalchhuanmawia *, Sehnaj Singh*, Jackichand Singh (Seityasen Singh*), Eugenson Lyngdoh, CK Vineeth, Sunil Chhetri, Robin Singh

* - Made their debut

Team India were made to rue their defensive blunders in a match where they could have come out with at least a point against a visiting Oman side. Two defensive disasters and one world class goal from Sunil Chhetri meant India went down narrowly to a superior Oman side.

By the time Oman scored their first goal, the spectators might not have taken there seats properly at the Kanteerava Stadium. From the kick-off Oman toyed with the Indian defense, as Qasim Said scored past a hapless Subrata Paul after Rino Anto gave too much space on the left side.

As the nerves settled, Indian team came more into the game while Oman were always looking dangerous with the ball. Mohsin Al Khaldi tested Subrata Paul with a freekick from the right side, which Subrata tipped over the bar. Oman had couple of good opportunities to grab a two goal lead but were not clinical. Then came the goal of sheer class on the 26th minute, as Sunil Chhetri latched onto a miss-kick from a Oman defender right at the edge of the box on the far right, and took a left footed shot on the turn which beat Ali Al-Habsi all ends up, with the ball going inside the goal after striking the left post.

In the 40th minute of the game, Dhanachandra Singh tripped Al-Farsi inside the box and the referee pointed straight to the spot.Emad Al Hosni scored from the resulting penalty to give the visitors the lead.

Qasim Said had tested the Indian defense couple of times but was unsuccessful to find the third goal for Oman. In the second half, India started well but there was hardly any good end product. India did manage to find the back of the net once in the second half but that was disallowed due to offside. Though controversial, Robin Singh standing in an offside position was found interfering with the play. One from the training ground, as Stephen Constantine might call it, Lyngdoh rolled the ball to Vineeth after a short corner was taken. Vineeth crossed from right and a deflection saw the ball crossing the line only for the referee to rule it out.

Sunil Chhetri had a penalty shout which was rightly ignored by the referee in the final moments of the game and the scoreline remained 1-2 in Oman's favor.

While India can take a lot of positives from the game, one might argue if the team got the proper preparation it might well have been a very different result.

"I am proud of the boys and the way they played and fought to the very end. The players did not give up at any stage. That is perhaps new for an Indian Football Team, but we did it. Today I saw a never-say-die attitude from the lads," said the Indian National Team Head Coach, Stephen Constantine.

Oman coach Paul Le Guen had some encouraging words for the Indian Team, "India could become one of the most dangerous Teams in given time. They were good in the second half and played with a burst of energy. The Indian contingent will get better with each passing moment."

India next take on Guam in an away fixture on 16th June, 2015.
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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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