Indian football team coach Igor Stimac on Tuesday said he was concerned about his team’s goal-scoring problems, shortly after the Blue Tigers suffered a 0-1 loss to Oman in their fifth match of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers. India failed to create any clear-cut chances throughout the game.
This was the second loss for the visitors in their winless campaign so far, leaving them with an uphill task of qualifying for the next round.
“Congratulations to Oman and I wish them all the luck in the upcoming Gulf Cup which is very important for them. I think the game was good and exciting. Oman had more chances, so they deserved to win,” Stimac said in the post-match press conference.
“We were a better side in the second half, but we could not find a way to score the goal. That has been our main problem in these five games. All our goals came for set pieces. The main reason why is because we are missing many players who can score goals. There are indecision and inaccuracy in the box, and we need to work on that problem,” he added.
India had their chances in the first half but lost Pranoy Halder and Adil Khan to injuries. The visitors faced problems in retaining the ball whenever Oman tried to attack directly with long balls.
“We have been facing such problems from the beginning of the qualifications. But it was not only us, Oman as well. The problem is that there are not enough competitive matches internationally to play high-intensity football for 90 minutes. But today, we faced different problems, we could not pick up the high balls, and that is what killed us,” Stimac said.
India are nine points behind second-placed Oman in Group E and are virtually out of contention for qualifying to the next round. They next face Asian champions Qatar at home before playing Bangladesh and Afghanistan. However, Stimac revealed he would not be changing his system to achieve better results.
“We are not changing our system for anyone. We are developing our game and we are improving inside our system. If we start changing our system because of the teams we are facing, we are not going to improve. It’s as simple as that, so, we stick with our system. We are improving on positions,” he explained.
“We are trying to develop our players’ strengths and conditions. I want my India to play without fear against anyone because that’s the beauty of football. Never mind who is on the opposite side. You have a chance to win the game. But if you are adapting your way of play according to the opposite team, you must be weak. You show weakness. I don’t want my team to show weakness,” he said.