India 1 - 2 Oman

Stimac: I was repeating at half-time, don’t let this lead slip away. We were punished twice because of our mistakes. But we deserved more out of the game given the way we dominated in the first-half, at least a point. Oman are a quality side and they showed experience. But my boys gave everything.

Koeman: I was very disappointed about our level, the mistakes we committed. We were better in the second-half and Mandhar scored two fantastic goals for us.

Full-time: India 1 - 2 Oman

What a stunning comeback from Oman! Al-Mandhar Rabia changed the tale of the game with two late goals after India completely outplayed them in the first-half. Perhaps, the hosts could not keep up the intensity they showed in the first part and now they have a tough task in hand as they face Qatar next.

9.17 pm: 90’ India 1 - 2 Oman

GOOOOOOOALLL! What a turnaround for Oman as Al-Mandhar Rabia scores a brace. He outmuscles Bheke on the left before charging into the box, cutting inside to beat Jhinghan and finds the right hand top corner.

9.12 pm: 86’ India 1 - 1 Oman

VITAL, VITAL BLOCK! India are exposed in search for an equaliser and Abdulaziz Al-Muqbali
makes a run into the opposition box before Sandesh Jhinghan makes a stunning block and denies Oman another goal.

9.10 pm: 82’ India 1 - 1 Oman

GOOOOALLLLL! Silence in Guwahati and frustration on the faces of the Indian players. Al-Mandhar Rabia equalises for Oman. He makes a run into the box and there’s no one tracking him. Bheke tries to close him and Gurpreet charges forward but it’s too late as Rabia lobs the ball into the net.

9.07 pm: 79’ India 1 - 0 Oman

SUBSTITUTION: Mohsin Bilal comes on for Harib Zaid as Oman make their final change.

9.05 pm: 77’ India 1 - 0 Oman

SUBSTITUTION: Manvir Singh is brought on as Ashique makes way. Just few minutes more to go on the clock and India aren’t messing around.

9.04 pm: 74’ India 1 - 0 Oman

CLOSEEEE! Gurpreet gets down quickly to pull off a fine save from Oman before Rahul Bheke clears the danger.

8.59 pm: 69’ India 1 - 0 Oman

SUBSTITUTION: Oman make another change as Salaah Salim is replaced by Mohammed Hamood.

8.57 pm: 67India 1 - 0 Oman

Sandesh Jhingan picks up a yellow card. Tired legs on both sides but Oman are the taking their chances.

8.47 pm: 59’ India 1 - 0 Oman

SUBSTITUTION: Chhangte comes on for Brandon as Stimac makes his first change of the night.

8.45 pm: 57’ India 1 - 0 Oman

YELLOW CARD! Rowllin Borges is booked for a rash foul on Mohammed Al-Musalami. First booking for the hosts.

8.43 pm: 53’ India 1 - 0 Oman

Salaah Al-Yahyaei breaks free on the right and swing in a teasing cross. Thapa tries to avert danger with a clearance but almost ends up scoring an own goal. India need to keep their nerves.

8. 38 pm: 48’ India 1 - 0 Oman

Bright start from Oman in the second-half. The visitors are seeing more of the ball while India are looking to punish them on the counter. The introduction of Al Ghassani has injected some pace and freshness into the Oman attack.

8.30 pm: 45’ India 1 - 0 Oman

SUBSTITUTION: The second-half begins as Oman search for an equaliser. Koeman makes one change with Al Ghassani replaces Saleh.

Half-time: 45’ India 1 - 0 Oman

What an exciting first-half it has turned out to be for India and Igor Stimac has got his tactics spot on tonight in Guwahati. The Blue Tigers have looked sharp in attack and have also defended well as a unit. They have a healthy 1-0 lead heading into the break thanks to Sunil Chhetri but the hosts will know the job is not done yet.

8.13 pm: 43’ India 1 - 0 Oman

SAVEEEEEE! Oman float in a cross from the right and Mubarak Al-Mahaijri finds space between Sandesh Jhinghan and Rahul Bheke to recieve the ball in a dangerous area. He fires a header straight at Gurpreet who stands tall and palms it away to safety.

8.08 pm: 38’ ’India 1 - 0 Oman

Subhashish Bose makes a mistimed tackle on the edge of the box. Rahul Bheke does well to clear the header from the following free-kick.

8.05 pm: 35’ India 1 - 0 Oman

India are dominating the proceedings in the middle of the park. They are winning the balls and closing down their markers. Compant and organised defending from the hosts.

7.55 pm: 24’ India 1 - 0 Oman

CHHHHHHETTTERIIIIIII It’s that man again. India win a corner on the edge of the box. Brandon Fernandes plays a throughball into the box and Chhetri deceives his marker, runs behind and curls it into the right bottom corner. What a start for India!

7.52 pm: 22’ India 0 - 0 Oman

Abdulaziz Al Ghailani is the first name to go into the referee’s book for a foul on Ashique. India all over Oman at the moment and the hosts are threatening on the wings.

7.49 pm: 19’ India 0 - 0 Oman

ALMOST! India win a corner and Adil Khan races ahead of his man but his header sails over the bar. India need to do better.

7.45 pm: 15’ India 0 - 0 Oman

CLOOOOOSE! How did that not go in? Big chance missed. Oman lose the ball in midfield and Chhetri plays Udanta into the box. The winger beats his marker, takes two quick touches but strikes the upright of the bar. Igor Stimac in disbelief at the touchline.

7.40 pm: 10’ India 0 - 0 Oman

SAVEEEE! Abdulaziz Al Ghailani is played into the box and he forces Gurpreet Singh Sandhu to make a fine save. Adil Khan should’ve done better there..

7.36 pm: 5’ India 0 - 0 Oman

Ashique breaks free on the left and pings in a cross for Udanta on the right. Udanta takes a touch and tries to find Chhetri in the box before an Oman defender steps in to make a clearance. Great start for the Bue Tigers.

7.34 pm: 2’ India 0 - 0 Oman

India have deployed a high press straightway and have already signaled that they won’t sit back today and hit on the counter.

7.25 pm: Both teams are out for the national anthems. Few minutes to go for kick-off.

7.15 pm: Erwin Koeman has named a strong starting eleven and here’s the Oman team that will face the Blue Tigers.

Line-up: Faiz Al-Rushaidi; Mohammed Al-Musalami, Ali Al-Busaidi, Saad Al-Mukhaini, Abdulaziz Al Ghailani; Salaah Al-Yahyaei, Al Mundhir Al Alawi, Ahmed Mubarak Al-Mahaijri, Raed Ibrahim Saleh, Harib Al-Saadi , Abdulaziz Al-Muqbali

7.05 pm: Stimac has taken us all by surprise with an interesting line-up. Brandon Fernandes, Rowllin Borges and Ashique Kuruniyan start in place of Sahal Samad, Vinit Rai and Lallianzuala Chhangte. Meanwhile, Adil Khan will partner Sandesh Jhinghan in central defence with Rahul Bheke and Subhashish Bose as full-backs.

7.00 pm: The team sheet is out, here’s a look at how Igor Stimac’s men line-up for today’s clash.

India will again look up to the talismanic Sunil Chhetri when they open their 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifying campaign against Oman here on Thursday in coach Igor Stimac’s biggest test so far.

A third-place finish in the King’s Cup in Thailand was followed by an uninspiring outing in the Intercontinental Cup at home where Stimac experimented.

Being clubbed with 2022 World Cup hosts Qatar in the Asian qualifiers second round helps as a second-place finish behind Qatar will see India in the third qualifying round.

That is why the two home and away matches against the 87-ranked Oman, starting with the one at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, assume significance.

With Stimac preferring a 4-2-3-1 formation instead of his predecessor Stephen Constantine’s 4-4-2, the 35-year-old Chhetri is set to be the lone man upfront with Ashique Kuruniyan playing behind one of international football’s leading scorers.

Like India, Oman also have a new manager in Dutchman Erwin Koeman, who took his players to Germany for a three-week conditioning camp while playing local sides.

The 34-year-old mid-fielder Ahmed Kano will be a vital cog in the team that reached the Round of 16 in the Asian Cup earlier this year.

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