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1-2

Chhetri 24′         Al-Alawi 84′
                           Al-Alawi 90′

 


 

Well, what an anticlimactic game to what was an an exciting game from the Blu Tigers. The lack of a pre-season showed in the end, as they all lost their energy and puffed into giving away the lead. Bheke was ousted on both occasions by the stunning Al-Mandhar Al-Alawi, who won his side three points with his first two goals for his nation. Nonetheless, India’s fearless approach, quick passing football style which Igor Stimac promised was on show here. There’s still a long way to go into the qualifying rounds and the Blue Tigers should only get better. Stimac’s side now travels to Qatar to face the AFC Asian Cup champions in their own yard. Khel Now will bring extensive pre-match cover, analysis and previews for that game. Until then, here’s Uttiyo Sarkar signing off. Goodnight and goodbye, Ladies and Gentlemen 

90+3′ A long ball is played by Thapa to Manvir inside the box, but the ball deflects off him for an Oman ball. Meanwhile Sahal Abudul Samad comes on for Subashish in the dying seconds. This looks over though.

90+2′ Well three minutes of added time has been announced as India look to get one more chance to steal a point here. 

90′ WOW WHAT A WINNER FROM OMAN! Guwahati is stunned as the left-winger Al-Alawi leaves Bheke for dead and charges into the box. He cuts in to take a shot and expertly curls the ball into the top-corner past Gurpreet. Comeback complete! 1-2!

88′ A tired shot from Al-Ghassani there as his shot from outside the area goes well wide. Meanwhile, “WE WANT MORE!” chants from the fans are echoeing all over the stadium.

86′ FANTASTIC CHALLENGE FROM JHINGAN! Oman catch India napping on a counter-attack and Al-Muqbali threads in a through ball to Al-Ghafri, who takes too much time with his shot which was destined for goal unless Jhingan put his body on the line flying in to clear for a corner. Brilliant stuff!

84′ AH ALMOST AN INSTANT REPLY! The Blue Tigers look for an instant answer as Udanta does really well to play Chhetri through the right, before he passes it to Manvir who takes a shot from an acute angle but Chhangte can’t connect his shot onto goal from yards out!

82′ GOAL! OMAN EQUALIZE! Ah, well the joy lasted for quite a long time. A long through-ball is played over the defence to Al-Alawi, who beats Bheke and superbly slots it past the onrushing Gurpreet to get the goal. 1-1!

81′ The official attendance for the game is 22,798! The fans have poured into the stadium here in Guwahati and the result of their support is showing in India’s spirited performance.

80′ Oman’s no #10 Mohsin Al-Khaldi comes on for Habib Al-Saadi in what is an attacking change from the visitors. Throwing in the kitchen sink now. 

79′ A Stephen Constantine like attack there. A long-ball is played onto Manvir from deep, allowing him to tip it onto goal for Chhetri. But Al-Rusheidi does well to clear it out of danger. 

 77′ Manas raises an important point here as we move into the final third and says, “”As we Go into the final 15 there are a few tired bod.ies in Blue. Remember, these Indians are still in pre-season. Will the tireless running catch up?. Meanwhile Ashique goes off for Manvir Singh

76′ Counter-attack wasted there! India win the ball inside their box and a string of clever passes from Bose to Rowllin allows the midfielder to send Ashique through. He does well to keep the ball in play, but his ambitious through-ball to the rushing Chhangte is collected by Al-Rusheidi. 

73′ Gurpreet again! Oman waste a corner but attack through the right again, as Al-Ghafri goes past Thapa to find some space just inside the box to twirl in a curler which is saved strongly by Gurpreet before Bheke clears the danger. Solid save!

72′ Oman have now piled almost all their players forward to get the goal. AL-Mukhaini does well to nutmeg Chhangte but his cross is cleared out. Manas also adds from the stadium, “Kuruniyan is looking leggy on the left. I’d be surprised if he sees out the 90.”

69′ Nervy moment there. Jhingan is unable to clear a header and Adil tries to scuff it out, but isn’t in the first attempt. He does manage it in the second one though. Oman make another change, with Al-Yahyaei going off for Mohammed AL-Ghafri.

67′ Close one there. Oman manage to penetrate the Indian defence when Al-Muqbali plays in Al-ALawi through on goal, but he’s offside. Sandesh Jhingan is booked for trying to clear that chance. Meanwhile, our correspondent Manas says from the stadium, “”Oman have lost the initial spring in their step after the restart. India looking for second with Chhangte’s arrival, but they must be careful not to concede against the run of play.”

66′ AH! Gurpreet collects an Oman corner smartly and sends Chhetri running through on the opposition goal. He passes it to CHhangte wide, but the winger tries cutting in and take a shot which is easily collected by the keeper. 

64′ Half a penalty shout there from Ashique, who does well to move through the left into the box and is involved in a tussle with the defender. On the rebound, Borges intercepts the pass really well but takes a shot which goes well wide of the target. 

63′ India needs to stop these crosses coming in from the flanks, as it’s getting even more difficult for GUrpreet and co to handle them. Meanwhile, Al-Mukhaini overhits a cross from the right which goes over the post. 

60′ A very interesting change from India as Brandon goes off for Lallianzuala Chhangte, who moves onto the left flank. Igor Stimac is going for the 2nd goal here!

59′ Oman create another half-chance through the right when Al-Mukhaini overlaps and sends in a low cross which is collected by Gurpreet. Meanwhile, Rowllin is booked for a horrible studs-up challenge in the middle. 

58′ Another close chance for India as Thapa plays in a long-ball which almost finds Chhetri through on goal. Meanwhile, Our man at the ground Manas says “What NorthEast United would give for an atmosphere like this in the ISL this season. The crowd here in Guwahati is rocking.

56′ LUCKY THERE! The visitors start a thunderous counter-attack as Al-Muqbali comes deep and goes past a few players before playing through Al-Alawi, who was just offside to waste the move. 

55′ Gurpreet again! Another cross comes down the left-wing and Al-Muqbali gets a free back-header which is collected confidently by a diving Gurpreet. 

54′ OHH! ALMOST AN OWN-GOAL! Oman move the ball down the right as Salaah Al-Yahyaei whips in a low cross into the box which Thapa almost scuffs into his own box but Gurpreet steers it over. 

52′ An end-to-end start to the second half here with both sides trying to counter-attack in the hunt for goals. Meanwhile, teh fans are doing the viking clap in the stands trying to reenergize the arena.

49′ Good stuff from the Bengaluru FC boys as Bheke plays in a nice ball forward to Udanta, who goes past Al-Busaidi, but his pass to Ashique is a bit over hit and goes back to Oman. 

47′ The visitors with their first attack as substitute Al-Ghassani receives the ball and runs at India’s defence, but his cross is cleared awya for a corner. 

46′ Oman get the second-half underway attacking from the left to the right this time. They try to create a chance right away, but a long-throw tipped off by Al-Muqbali finds its way to Gurpreet. 

8:32 PM: Oman have made a substitution here before the second half. Raed Saleh’s been taken off, with Muhsen Saleh Al-Ghassani coming on!

HALF-TIME ANALYSIS: WOW, what a half of football that was for India! The Blue Tigers have taken the fight to Oman here, matching them toe-to-toe in terms of work-rate and ousting them with their brilliant passing style. Udanta was unlucky not to score after his attempt hit the bar, but Chhetri didn’t miss when Brandon served him on a plate in the 24th minute. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu has kept the Blue Tigers in the game with two stunning saves, while Rowllin Borges, Brandon Fernandes and Ashique Kuruniyan have all justified their selection with strong performances. India need to keep up their momentum and go for the second goal in the second half when Oman will throw the kitchen sink for goals. We’ll be back in a bit. Stay tuned, Ladies and Gentlemen!

45′ One minute of added time is announced as India try to gain some possession to wear down the clock. 

43′ WHAT A SAVE GURPREET! After the free-kick is cleared, Oman try to attack from the right and AL-Mukhaini makes a looping cross which is struck viciously by Ahmed Kone is saved brilliantly by Gurpreet’s swift reflexes. The Oman captain misses his second attempt, keeping India’s lead at bay. 

41′ A poor foul from Subhashish Bose there. A chipped ball is played onto Raed Saleh onto the right and he does well to keep it into play and force a challenge to earn his side a free-kick. Dangerous ground here. 

39′ The NorthEast United FC side is here in the stadium to cheer on their compatriots. They must be delighted at how well their former anchor Rowllin is playing so far in his former home ground. 

37′ Oman almost got through on goal there! A great long-ball from Al-Rusheidi finds the Indian defence sleeping, but before Al-Muqbali can get into the ball, Gurpreet comes onto clearing it out smartly. 

35′ Al-Mukhaini cuts an infuriated face when his attempted pass deflects off Thapa and then himself to go out for an India throw. The visitors are anything but happy at whatever has transpired so far. 

33′ Another impressive display of India playing the ball out of defence. Rowllin shows composure in holding onto possession before passing it to Bheke on the right, who plays a nice one-two with Udanta before being fouled. 

31′ Oman are trying to create a promising chance but India are maintaining their line superbly. A long passing move is wasted after one goes astray through the left. 

29′ Brandon Fernandes has put in quite the shift so far. Apart from the assists, his defensive contribution in closing down midfielders and not allowing Oman to penetrate through the middle is fantastic. His distribution has also been top-notch. 

26′ The visitors have been stunned by India’s fantastic work so far. They are already readying up their substitutes for the second half. Meanwhile, Brandon goes down after landing nastily on his back following a defensive challenge. 

24′ CHHETRI SCORES!! A brilliant set-piece routine from Brandon, who finds Chhetri free just inside the ball and passes it for the captain to power it into the net with a left-footed bullet. 1-0!

23′ Ashique gets behind the defence again and is brought down by Abdulaziz Al-Gheilani is booked for a reckless challenge. Promising free-kick here for India. 

22′ Oman looked a bit rocked by the flurry of chances in the last five minutes. India have been fearless and relentless with their approach, something they wouldn’t have expected. 

20′ ANOTHER CHANCE! The corner is taken expertly and finds Adil Khan, who outjumps his opponent but sees his header go just over. Should have scored there!!

19′ OHH! India create another beautiful move as Udanta plays the ball central to Thapa, who finds Ashique through on goal. THe left-winger beats Al-Rusheidi, but the cross is cleared to safety by Mohammed Al-Musallami. On the rebound, Brandon’s shot is cleared away for a corner!

17′ The fans are definitely reinvigorated after that chance! Loud chants of “Bande Mataram” can be heard from the stands, something which will keep the players going. 

15′ OFF THE BAR!! The hosts do a fantastic job to steal the ball after a poor goalkick, as Chhetri plays in Udanta through on goal. The right-winger takes a good touch and hits a powerful shot which hits the upper-post and goes out. UNLUCKY!

12′ OOH! Brandon Fernandes makes a clean challenge to win back possesion in his half and passes it to Anirudh Thapa, who plays in a long ball to Chhetri but Fayiz Al-Rusheidi comes forward and clears the ball out of danger. 

11′ India look to be much better defensively so far. Oman try to work their way into the box again as Al-Mukhaini plays in Al-Muqbali inside the box again, but Rowllin Borges does expertly to get it off him and create a counter-attack. 

9′ Gurpreet saves! Oman create their first chance as Al-Mandhar Al-Alawi lobs in a pass from the left to Abdulaziz Al-Muqbali inside the box, but his left-footed shot is punched up and saved by the Indian #1. 

6′ Ashique is causing all sorts of problems early on to Saad Al-Mukhaini. He goes past the right-back once again to find some space to run to through the left, but his cross is too strong and goes to Udanta on the right. 

4′ The Blue Tigers are reflecting Stimac’s philosophy here. They are pressing high up in Oman’s defence and a delicate passing move is played before Udanta’s cross gets deflected for a corner. 

2′ Promising early stuff from India. Raed Saleh is dispossessed in the middle and the ball is played to Ashique Kuruniyan in the left. He goes surging forward and puts in a cross, but there’s nobody to capitalize on it. 

1′ AND WE KICKOFF HERE IN GUWAHATI! India get things rolling, attacking from the left to right. Right away, they try to move forward through Udanta but the pass is intercepted. 

7:25 PM- The teams have made their way out into the field now. The national anthems will be followed with some pre-match rituals. Kick-off is just minutes away. Stay tuned, folks!

7:20 PM- The fans are still making their way into the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium here at Guwahati and the stands look absolutely packed. Not only fans from the city, but those from Kolkata, Bengaluru, Mumbai have also made the travel to cheer on for their national team. A huge tifo of Igor Stimac just got unveiled. Expect the Blue Pilgrims and co to make their noise felt today!

7:15 PM- While Stimac did state that Qatar and Oman remain the favorites from the group due to the superiority, India could defeat anyone in it if they have the right spirits. The Visitors are playing their strongest possible side tonight, so it’ll be Stimac’s toughest challenge yet. Ashique has a chance to rekind his fiery AFC Asian Cup display after an injury lay-off, while Chhetri-Udanta combination will be key towards breaking their defence. Rowllin will also play an important role in holding the midfield line, while it’s Adil Khan and Rahul Bheke’s biggest opportunity to consolidate a national team role today. 

7:10 PM- This game is guaranteed to be an intense one knowing how desperate both sides are to start their qualifying campaign on the strong foot. Some very interesting battles are in store, be it Chhetri against Al-Musallami, Thapa against Kone or Al-Muqbali against Jhingan.  Here we took a look at the top five battles to watch out for.

7:05 PM- Igor Stimac reiterated in the pre-match press conference about how his side must defend better and take their chances to get something out of this game. After having conceded many goals under the Croat, the defensive work must improve. Oman will start attacking right from the get-go and have scored 6 goals in their past two competitive games under Koeman as well. Most of them have involved set-pieces, so that’s one department India must be wary off. 

7:00 PM- Meanwhile Oman have also opted for a similar 4-2-3-1 formation, with the double pivot of Ahmed Kone and Harib Al-Saadi as the double pivot. Dangerous man Abdulaziz Al-Muqbali starts upfront and is bound to cause many troubles. Oman have never lost to the Blue Tigers in competitive games, defeating them thrice in FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Can Stimac’s men change that? Sound off in the comments. 

6:55 PM- So there’s a little bit of surprise in the starting line-up. Rowllin Borges gets a surprising start, while Ashique Kuruniyan also makes his first-start under new management. Brandon Fernandes is opted ahead of Sahal Abdul Samad, which means he’ll play in the playmaker role trying to get India forward. A 4-2-3-1 formation from Stimac, which means India are bound to take the fight to the visitors.

6:50 PM- We have team news for you from the game!

India XI: Gurpreet, Bheke, Jhingan, Adil, Bose, Rowllin, Thapa, Brandon, Ashique, Udanta, Chhetri(C).

Subs: Amrinder, Kamaljit, Narender, Kotal, Anas, Mandar, Vinit, Sahal, Chhangte, Manvir, Poojary, Balwant. 

Oman XI: Al-Rusheidi(GK), Al-Gheilani, Al-Musallami, Al-Mukhaini, Al-Busaidi, Al-Saadi, Al-Alawi, Ahmed Kone(C), Saleh, Al-Yahyaei, Al-Muqbali. 

Subs: Al-Mukhaini(GK), Al-Rawahi, Al-Hoi, Mabrook, Al-Kaabi, Al-Hosni, Al-Sheyadi, Al-Khaldi, Al-Ghassani, Muhsen Saleh, Al-Ghafri. 

Also Read: FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifiers: Top five Key battles that could determine India’s opener against Oman

6:45 PM- Hello everyone! It is a wonderful atmosphere at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Ahmedabad and the Indian National Team is all set to face Oman in their opening game of the FIFA World Cup 2022 AFC Qualifier Round 2. The weather is near to perfect and spectators are coming in to experience the game. This is your host Uttiyo Sarkar, and I hope you enjoy the game with me.

Match Preview: #INDOMA Preview: Real challenges are back for Blue Tigers as Oman await