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India vs Oman HIGHLIGHTS, FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifier: Oman Late Strikes Break Indian Hearts

News18 Sports

Last Updated: September 10, 2019, 20:35 IST

India vs Oman in the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifier (Photo Credit: AIFF)

India vs Oman in the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifier (Photo Credit: AIFF)

India take on Oman in their first match of the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifier at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati.

India vs Oman HIGHLIGHTS, FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifier: India lost 1-2 against Oman in their opening Group E match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and the 2023 AFC Asian Cup Joint-Qualifiers at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Thursday. Rabia Alawi Al Mandhar scored two goals (82nd and 90th) to cancel out Sunil Chhetri’s 24th-minute strike.

India are ranked 103rd in the world and Oman are ranked 87th. The last meeting between India and Oman was a friendly in December last year, which ended in a goalless draw. India has never won against Oman in a FIFA-recognised match. India will next travel to Doha to face Qatar in their next FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifier on September 10, with Afghanistan and Bangladesh being the other two teams that make up Group E. MATCH REPORT

India’s previous World Cup qualifying campaign saw them coming up again Oman in 2015, when Sunil Chhetri scored the only goal for India in a 2-1 loss. (LIVE STREAMING)

Chhetri, who has scored 71 goals in 111 appearances for the Blue Tigers, stated that there is a “pulse of excitement" in the team with just one day to go for the crucial game.

“There is a great eagerness in the team and one really feels the pulse of excitement among the boys. We are really looking forward to the game. We had a great training camp and everyone in the team is fit and hungry. The players are gelling well and responding to what the coach expects from them," Sunil said.

Despite a majority of the players being young, the Chhetri said all are “well aware" of what is expected of them.

“It is a young team, but I don’t have to talk to them once. Each player is well aware of what is expected of him and the coach speaks whatever is needed. I just have to be a good example for the players and will keep doing so whenever I am here," he said.

It will be new coach Igor Stimac‘s biggest test yet when India take on Oman in their first game of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers on Thursday.

Stimac is one of the most high-profile coaches to have taken charge of the Indian team having been part of Croatia’s team that reached the semi-finals of the 1998 World Cup.

But his start hasn’t been impressive as he has looked to blood more youngsters and find his best combinations.

A third-place finish in the King’s Cup in Thailand was followed by a poor display in the Intercontinental Cup at home.

India head coach Igor Stimac stated that his team is up ready and “well prepared" to meet the challenge.

“The preparations for the game went really well and as a coach, I am happy. This will be our third campaign and I am happy with the improvement in the team in terms of the understanding levels of the players and their fitness levels. We are well concentrated and well prepared," he said.

Stimac also acknowledged that Oman, along with Qatar, are the two strong favourites in the group.

“Realistically, Qatar and Oman are the favourites in our group. We have never won an official (World Cup qualifying) match against either of them. So it’s not going to be easy at all. In Guwahati we are going to give everything on the pitch, aiming to win it," Stimac said.

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