India vs Oman, Highlights, FIFA 2022 World Cup Qualifier: Solitary Muhsen Al-Ghassani goal sees Oman edge past India

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India vs Oman, Highlights, FIFA 2022 World Cup Qualifier: Solitary Muhsen Al-Ghassani goal sees Oman edge past India
  • 22:38 (IST)

    That's it from us folks!

    It was a tough match for India heading into it, with Oman quite clearly the better team in terms of quality. However, they did their best, and often looked like they could nick a point. This will be a boost to the side's morale, and with two very promising matches against Afghanistan and Bangladesh left, they could still qualify for the Asian Cup. Join us next year, when the remaining fixtures from this campaign will be played. Until then, goodnight and goodbye. 

  • 22:25 (IST)

    FT OMA 1 - 0 IND

    And that's that, India suffer their second loss of the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifiers, thanks to Muhsen Al-Ghassani's first-half strike. It'll be a difficult result for India to swallow, because they've played a lot better on the night than they did against Afghanistan and Bangladesh, but they walk away without a single point. 

  • 22:16 (IST)

    88' OMA 1 - 0 IND

    Ashique has won a couple of corners on that right flank, but India have never looked like they can score from a set-piece. Not that there's a flood of chances from open play. It just looks like it's not going to be India's night. 

  • 22:05 (IST)

    76' OMA 1 - 0 IND

    Oh lord, after pinging in a number of exquisite set-pieces, Brandon fluffs his lines in what looked like India's best chance to score. Manvir won a free-kick on the right flank, in a spot that was just begging for a swerving delivery, but Brandon's pass is floated well above the heads of everyone on the pitch. 

  • 21:54 (IST)

    65' OMA 1 - 0 IND

    Udanta has been a real thorn in the side of Harib Al-Saadi, who shows his frustration with a reckless tackle on the Indian winger. He's awarded a yellow for his efforts. It's too far away from the penalty area, and the angle is a bit awkward, but the Indian players pile into the box anyway. The ball is decent, and it ricochets around for a few seconds before being halted for a foul on an Omani player. 

  • 21:52 (IST)

    63' OMA 1 - 0 IND

    Oman almost score with a free-kick! Mohsin Al-Khaldi bends one from 25 yards away, but it's at a great height for Gurpreet, who gets across quickly and parries to safety. A couple of corners come from the ensuing pressure, and India just about deal with them. 

  • 21:48 (IST)

    60' OMA 1 - 0 IND

    India have kept up the pressure, but there hasn't been much to show for it in terms of concrete chances. A flick on from Udanta almost found Manvir in space on the edge of the Omani penalty area, but that's been the pick of the lot so far. If they keep huffing and puffing though, it's bound to come sooner rather than later. 

  • 21:38 (IST)

    50' OMA 1 - 0 IND

    India win a free-kick on the right flank, and Brandon stands over it. His ball is put into a dangerous area, but there are no blue shirts around to challenge for it. It's dealt with quite easily by Oman, but India are getting better by the minute here!

  • 21:36 (IST)

    49' OMA 1 - 0 IND

    India have begun the second half on a bright note, keeping possession in the Omani half for a few minutes. Time is of the essence here, and they desperately need a goal.

  • 21:17 (IST)

    HT OMA 1 - 0 IND

    It's not as bad as it could be. India have been playing well enough, and there have been a couple of decent chances. A goal is definitely not outside the realms of possibility here. A stirring Friday Night Lights-esque half-time speech from Igor Stimac could do the job

  • 21:13 (IST)

    40' OMA 1 - 0 IND

    Oh there was a chance there! Udanta finds himself with acres of green to run into on the left flank, and his ball finds Farukh with space to shoot in the Omani penalty area. He swivels and passes though, after which the chance is quickly extinguished by Oman's defence. There's a bit rambunctious tackling from Oman going on at the moment though, surprising they haven't seen yellow yet.  

  • 21:05 (IST)

    32' OMA 1 - 0 IND

    Oh what a goal! Muhsen Al-Ghassani latches on to a delicious ball from Mohsin Al-Khaldi to stroke the ball past a stationary Gurpreet Singh Sandhu in the Indian goal. The build-up was lightning-quick, and India now face a difficult task ahead. 

  • 21:01 (IST)

    30' OMA 0 - 0 IND

    Alright then, Halder's off. It makes sense from Igor Stimac's perspective, there's a long time left and a lot of fouls left to commit. Having Halder walking a tightrope is detrimental to the defense, and he's also injured. Vinit Rai is his replacement. 

  • 20:58 (IST)

    25' OMA 0 - 0 IND

    Pranoy Halder gives away a set-piece near the edge of the penalty area with a scything challenge that Sergio Ramos would have been proud of. Both him and Adil Khan are on yellows no, which is not ideal. The resultant set-piece is delivered in with some whip, but nothing comes of it as it goes out for a corner off Nishu. The corner almost results in a goal, but the ball sails just over the bar. 

  • 20:55 (IST)

    23' OMA 0 - 0 IND

    Brandon Fernandes begins a rapid move with a beautiful diagonal ball to the feet of Nishu Kumar, who promptly combines with Udanta before racing into Oman's penalty area to drill in a low cross. It's deflected out for a corner, which doesn't give anyone a chance. 

  • 20:51 (IST)

    19' OMA 0 - 0 IND

    Udanta shifts through his gears as he sprints away on a counter. He's brought down unceremoniously by Ali Al-Busaidi around 30 yards away from the Oman goal. Brandon Fernandes takes the set-piece, and it's a delightful dink that unfortunately results in nothing. Still, positive signs. 

  • 20:47 (IST)

    15' OMA 0 - 0 IND

    The missed penalty appears to have deflated Oman's forward momentum a little, with most of the game being played in the middle of the park over the last 10 minutes. Mohammed Al Ghafri has had the closest to what you can realistically categorise as an opportunity, taking a pot-shot from around 25 yards away. It whistles past Gurpreet's post, but he had it covered.

  • 20:40 (IST)

    7' OMA 0 - 0 IND

    Much of the game is being played deep in India's half, and it's almost immediately clear what the magnitude of the task is facing India. And Rahul Bheke gives away a penalty, with barely 6 minutes played! It's a clumsy foul, but it can be read either way. There's no intent in it, but he did clatter into his Omani opposition. 

    Mohsin, who's stepped up to take the penalty after winning it, rushes it a little and drills it over the bar. Oh lord, that was awful. Rahul Bheke, you lucky, lucky boy. 

  • 20:35 (IST)

    3' OMA 0 - 0 IND

    Early injury concern for India, as Pronay Halder goes down clutching his shoulder. It looks to be a manageable knock though, because he's on his feet quickly. The last thing Stimac needs at the moment is another injury. 

  • 20:33 (IST)

    1' OMA 0 - 0 IND

    India will need to solve the problems that have plagued them over the course of this campaign quickly to win this one. They cannot be as defensively frail as they were against Afghanistan and Bangladesh, because Oman can punish them. They also can't focus solely on defending, because they need to win this. 

  • 20:25 (IST)

    Just five minutes to go!

    via GIPHY

  • 20:03 (IST)

    We were just kidding about the Arabic bit, here's the Oman XI:

    Al-Habsi, Al Hidi, Al-Mahaijri, Al-Ghassani, Al-Mukhaini, Al Alawi, Al Ghafri, Al-Saadi, Al-Maslami, Al-Khaldi, Al-Busaidi

  • 19:54 (IST)

    Looks like a full house tonight!

  • 19:51 (IST)

    Can I have John Burridge's number mate?

  • 19:45 (IST)

    Winless India must hold their nerve at crucial junctures to get something out of Oman game

    In their quest for the first win in the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifiers, India have travelled a long 1600km to Muscat where they will face Oman, currently in the runners-up spot in Group E. So far in the qualifiers, it has been more of the "same old, same old" for India as they have shown glimpses of magic in every game, and yet failed to make the most of it at crucial junctures of play.

    Click here to read more of Sreya Mazumder's preview of the match.

  • 19:33 (IST)

    Here's how the Blue Tigers line up!

  • 19:28 (IST)

    Hello and welcome to Firstpost's coverage of India's match against Oman!

    With hopes of qualifying for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar all but dashed, India will shift focus on qualification for the next round of the Asian Cup, which is a relatively more achievable goal. Their opponents tonight are Oman, a team that has beaten them already this season, thanks to a couple of late goals. Stay tuned for all the updates from this exciting contest! 

Preview: Winless in four games so far in an increasingly disappointing campaign, the Indian football team faces higher-ranked Oman in a do-or-die World Cup qualifying round match on Tuesday.

A first-half strike from Sunil Chhetri gave India hopes of beating Oman in the first leg in Guwahati in September but it ultimately turned out to be so-near-yet-so-far as the Gulf nation struck twice in the final 10 minutes to outwit the home side.

Oman are coming into this match after an emphatic (4-1) win over Bangladesh here on 14 November.

India, on the other hand, are struggling after an impressive goalless draw against Asian champions Qatar as they needed late equalisers in their identical 1-1 draws against lower-ranked Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

After three draws and a defeat, India are fourth in the Group E table with three points while Oman are second with nine points from four matches. Qatar are on top with 10 points from four matches.

An upset win over Oman will certainly keep Igor Stimac's side in the hunt for a next round berth but a loss will virtually send India out of reckoning as far as the 2022 World Cup qualification is concerned.

If India lose, they will trail Oman by nine points and have only three matches — maximum nine points — left to play in this second round of the qualifiers.

Even the runner-up sides from the eight groups are not guaranteed an automatic spot in the third round of the qualifiers.

A draw against Oman will also make it difficult for India to qualify for the next round. Their last three matches — all to be played next year — are against Qatar (at home on 26 March), Bangladesh (away, 4 June) and Afghanistan (at home, 9 June).

But getting a least a point against Oman may prove crucial as it will make it easier for India to get an automatic third round berth for the 2023 Asian Cup qualifiers.

This campaign is also a joint qualifying round for the 2023 Asian Cup and the third-placed teams and the best four fourth-placed teams from the eight groups automatically get a spot in the third round of the qualifiers of the continental championships.

Stimac's side has struggled not just in defence but four matches into this campaign, it is also clear that their offence is also not in the best of form.

India is no longer dependent on only Chhetri to score the goals but the inability to convert the chances has cost the team dear.

Stimac has no illusion about who is the favourite on Tuesday but he is also hoping that his players will convert the chances which come their way and score goals.

"Oman are much better now than the team we played against in Guwahati. They are the favourites. We know for a fact that match is going to be very difficult for us," the high profile Croatian coach said.

Historically too, India are the underdogs, having not won any of the 11 matches they have played against Oman who have emerged victorious on eight occasions.

Before the Guwahati match in September, the two sides played out a 0-0 draw in the run-up to the 2019 Asian Cup in the UAE. In the two legs of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers played in 2015, India had lost to Oman 0-3 in Muscat before a 1-2 defeat in Bangalore.

India will still be without senior central defender Anas Edathodika as he returned home before the Afghanistan match due to a family emergency, dealing a further blow to a team which has lost the services of Sandesh Jhingan, Rowling Borges and Amarjit Singh due to injuries.

With inputs from PTI.

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Updated Date: Nov 19, 2019 23:36:07 IST