Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri dismissed talks about his side gunning for a revenge as they face Oman in a crucial match of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers in Muscat, Oman on Tuesday.
Erwin Koeman’s side left it late to sweep the tie against India as they won 2-1 during the first leg in September, opening their World Cup qualifier with a victory. Chhetri scored India’s only goal which could have earned the Blue Tigers three points but Al Mandhar Al Alawi scored back-to-back goals to dent India’s chances.
“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, 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,” he added.
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 stated.
The two countries have played eleven matches against each other until now and Oman were on the winning side eight times whereas three 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. Their attackers can do anything on a given day and we have to be on our toes throughout,” Adil stressed.
Custodian Gurpreet Singh Sandhu said 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,” the goalkeeper said.