2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers - India 1:2 Oman | Player Ratings
India disappointed yet again as the team conceded twice in the last eight minutes to hand Oman a 1-2 victory in the first game of their FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. The Blue Tigers took the lead early on through Sunil Chhetri in the 24th minute.
The side continued their dominance for most of the first half. However, the second half had a reverse story with Oman slowly grabbing hold of proceedings. The defence that remained solid in the initial moments turned shaky and conceded the first in the 82nd minute. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu could do very little to stop Al-Mandhar from entering the scoresheet. In the 89th minute, India let go of the game completely by letting Al-Mandhar take the lead.
India walked into the qualifier with great hopes which was evident on the pitch right from the beginning. But, the promising start did not alter India's dismal performance in the latter half. The side replicated its defensive woes by conceding in the second half. The very same error made in the Kings Cup and Intercontinental Cup was spotted at Guwahati too.
Chhetri still led from the front and remained the team's goal-scoring machine. The midfield was better and defence remained solid for a major share of the time. The fall after a collective effort for 82 minutes is sure to raise questions about the defence in Igor Stimac's mind. The gaffer will have a lot to resolve before heading to Doha for their second game in the round, on 10th of this month.
We take a look at the player ratings from India's disappointing outing against Oman.
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu - 7.5/10
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu had an excellent game under the bars for except the two lousy moments which led to India's defeat. Until the 82nd minute, the Bengaluru FC custodian had everything that came his way stopped at ease.
The 27-year old had great positioning and denied the visitors goals on numerous occasions. Gurpreet's experience was well utilized at times when Oman surpassed the Indian defence. However, the shot-stopper could have done a lot better in denying the first goal.
Rahul Bheke - 7/10
Rahul Bheke too showcased a stellar performance on the field until the goals broke in. The right-back managed to keep down all challenges on his wing and was rarely beaten by the opponents. He made crucial tackles and had valuable contributions in the attack. But, the Bengaluru FC player had his share of fault in both of Oman's goals. Bheke failed at the difficult task of tackling Al-Mandhar during the first goal. The second goal came from the 28-year old's culpable tackle attempt which opened up wide space for the attackers.
Sandesh Jhingan - 6.5/10
Sandesh Jhingan had a comparatively quieter phase in the opening minutes as the defence was kept compact. The coach's plan of keeping the defence line tight was well executed by Jhingan. He made no notable fumbling in the first half. However, Jhingan was part of India's sinking defence after the break. The Kerala Blasters defender was easily beaten while Oman burst into the box for the second goal.
Adil Khan - 6.5/10
Adil Khan was no different from Jhingan on the night. This well-built defender too made crucial contributions in the defence. The Goan-born player was seen making interceptions and tackles inside the box. However, Adil was troubled later on had nothing to do with the two goals. He was also guilty of a clumsy clearance attempt before the bars.
Subhasish Bose - 7.5/10
Subhasish Bose had a good outing against the Reds. The fullback managed to handle most of the challenges that came against him. He made some crucial tackles and interceptions. The 24-year old's left-wing was targeted by the opposition in the early minutes, but he dealt with the same well.
Udanta Singh - 5.5/10
Udanta Singh was nowhere near his best during the 90 minutes. The usual understanding with Chhetri was missing and he hardly converted the chances on the right flank. Udanta had a shot in the first half which was denied by the crossbar. The winger still showed glimpses of restoration but was not up to the standards.
Rowllin Borges - 7/10
Rowllin Borges had a decent outing against Oman. He was placed in the centre of midfield with extra duties on the defensive side. The midfielder dropped down well to support the centre-backs. Rowllin was good with his distribution too and remained a livewire on the field for the entire time. The Goan-born player compensated for Amarjit Singh's absence up to a limit.
Anirudh Thapa - 7.5/10
India's midfield general was again an active presence throughout the game. Thapa made crucial interceptions in the centre of the pitch and fed key crosses to the Omani box. Thapa made the crucial interception from Al-Rushaidi's miskick that paved way to Udanta's golden chance.
Brandon Fernandes - 7.5/10
Brandon Fernandes had a good game in the midfield against the Reds. Brandon was slotted into the lineup in place of Sahal Abdul and justified the selection with his performance. It was the FC Goa midfielder's perfect execution of the freekick that led to Chhetri's goal. Brandon had his part done on the defensive leg too with his tackles in the midfield.
Sunil Chhetri - 8.5/10
Sunil Chhetri, as always, was India's best performer of the day. It was his solitary goal that kept India's hopes alive until the final minutes. Chhetri's experience was at use regularly and helped India build up into the Oman half. The young attacking lineup including Ashique Kuruniyan was perfectly led by the skipper. The Bengaluru FC forward still lacked chances that could be finished. A few more good balls on Chhetri's legs would have altered India's results.
Ashique Kuruniyan - 8/10
Ashique Kuruniyan was India's target man for the entire first half. All the attacks were pointed at the Kerala-lad on the left flank. Ashique made good use of his speed and was a menace to the defence in the early minutes. He offered great crosses into the box and managed to hold on to the overhead passes from the defence. The free-kick that opened up the goal too came from Ashique's pacy run. But, the 22-year old, at times, lost possession to Oman's physical defenders.
Lallianzuala Chhangte - 6.5/10
The young winger substituted Brandon Fernandes in the second half. Chhangte was expected to add pace to India's tired legs. However, he did not leave a notable impact and had very little to add in the attack.
Manvir Singh - N/A
Sahal Abdul Samad - N/A