- India were defeated by Oman by one goal in Muscat.
- A game that was played with intensity, saw Oman score a goal from an offside position
- India are without a win in the qualifiers and have lost both their games to Oman.
The Indian football team suffered their 2nd loss of the qualification campaign to Oman who defeated the Blues by a narrow margin. Oman scored the only goal of the night which was a clear off-side, however, the referee turned a blind eye towards the goal which cost India points on the night.
With 3 more games left to play, the best possible outcome for India could be a third-place finish in the group.
An unlucky evening in Muscat
India kicked off the game in Muscat. In the 5th minute, as Rahul Bheke was chasing the Omani attacker, he lost his balance which resulted in the attacker being tripped in the box. A penalty was awarded to the Oman side. However, the team could only rocket the ball over the net and India breathed a sigh of relief.
In the 14th minute, Mohammed Al Ghafri decided to test Gurpreet Singh Sandhu with a shot from outside the box, however, it was off target. The 26th minute saw a corner from Oman which was headed just over the bar.
Their substitutions cost India, as in the 33rd minute, a through ball found Muhsen Al-Ghassani who scored a first touch goal past Gurpreet, who couldn’t react as the ball went past him. Ghassani was coming from an offside position.
However, the referees over-looked it. Oman could have made it 2 just before half-time as a grounded cross came searching for the striker who couldn’t get a foot on the ball.
Going into the half-time, India were all over the place. Their defence looked somewhat shaky, they were leaving too many gaps in the midfield and created almost no goal-scoring chances.
India did, however, show more intent to score an equalizer in the second half. They were awarded a corner in the 47th minute which was miscued by the players in the box, eventually being cleared out by the Omani defence.
In the 63rd minute, Gurpreet Singh made a routine save of a freekick that was well-shot and on target. A few minutes later, Udanta Singh was ruled offside after he tried to cross the ball goalwards.
The 81st minute saw another example of horrible refereeing as a foul on Nishu Kumar was not given, which resulted in a counter-attack from Oman. A sure 2nd goal for Oman was saved by Gurpreet’s super-human reflex. India tried to do it all in the dying minutes of the game, as they tried to ping in balls after balls in the Omani box.
It was another disappointing game for Igor Stimac’s Blues, that could have seen them secure point had it not been for the un-lucky offside goal.
The national team has some time to refresh when they re-group in March next year. By then, some of the critical players like Jeje, Adil Khan, Pronay Halder should all be fit to start for the Blues.
India will be hosting group leaders and 2022 World Cup hosts, Qatar on 26th March 2020 followed by Bangladesh and Afghanistan in June. With 3 more games left to play, India is currently without a win. They will need to give it all in the remaining games if they have to make it to the top 3 of the group.
I hope the 2014 fans are finally getting a hang of what it's like to #BackTheBlue, why one draw with Qatar doesn't mean ISL has made us a global superpower, and why that fugazi ranking drop-and-jump scheme isn't a real indicator of quality. #indianfootball #OMAIND #TheRoadIsLong
— Chiranjit Ojha (@ChiranjitOjha) November 19, 2019
A really good performance despite the result (and the early injuries) was never a goal, clear offside – @BrandonFern10 my man of the match (playing out of position as well) and 👏🏻👏🏻 to the Manjappada who created the noise despite their small numbers #OMAIND pic.twitter.com/LtVnypaDwW
— Joe Morrison (@joefooty) November 19, 2019
I dont know what the hate is about against @stimac_igor
. Those who have been following indian football since the last decade can clearly see how we are developing in various aspects of the game.what do you expect ??we play like brazil in a matter of weeks?#OMAIND
— Nuran Nuran (@eneoaru) November 19, 2019