Muscat: Indian men's football team captain Sunil Chhetri dismissed the idea that the team was looking for a revenge against Oman for their home loss when they face each other during the second leg of the FIFA 2022 World Cup Qualifiers at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Muscat, Oman on Tuesday.
In September in Guwahati, India and Oman began the joint World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers, where Al Mandar struck two late goals for the visitors to grab the victory.
Two months later, as India prepare to take on Oman away from home, the Blue Tigers find themselves in a do-or-die situation having drawn their last three games against Qatar, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
"We won't think about revenge or anything closer to that, absolutely not. At the end of the day, the points matter. It's not a derby as they are not our neighbours," Chhetri stated on the sidelines of the first training session in Muscat.
"These are the qualifiers and we have only one thing in our mind that is to go out and give everything that we have and take the result. I mean the important point is to go and play well, especially in the away matches."
Oman striker Al Mandhar has already scored four goals in four matches during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifiers but Pritam Kotal felt everyone should be dealt with equally to come out with a favourable result.
"It's not only Al Mandhar, other attackers like Al Alwai, Al Ghassani everyone can impose equal danger to a defence line. They are quick, they switch positions fast and can score from long. We have to be extra cautious of their long-range shots," Kotal opined.
In the first leg, Chhetri scored India's only goal which could have earned the Blue Tigers their first win against the Gulf Nation but Al Mandhar scored back-to-back goals to dent India's dream. These two countries have played eight matches against each other and Oman were on the winning side six times whereas the other two matches ended in a draw.
On being asked whether these stats will put India under pressure before they hit the ground, Adil Khan felt otherwise.
"Yes, numbers say that they (Oman) are favourites but it all will start from scratch tomorrow (Tuesday). Their attackers can do anything on a given day and we have to be on our toes throughout," Adil stressed.
Custodian Gurpreet Singh Sandhu picked that staying unbeaten on the road is the priority now and Oman is going to be a difficult opponent to play against.
"Not losing a game away from home is our priority right now. It's always difficult playing away from home and we recognise the threats (from Oman) given their ability and strength. We have to make sure we deal with them well."