FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: India vs Oman, 5 Hits and Flops
India’s evening changed for the worse in a thunderous spell of 8 minutes as visitors Oman overturned a 1-goal deficit to win 2-1 in the 2022 Qatar World Cup Qualifiers at the Indira Gandhi Stadium on Thursday evening. Sunil Chhetri’s superb strike in the 24th minute went in vain as Oman’s Al-Mandhar struck twice late in the second half to snatch three vital points for the away side.
While India were exciting in the attacking half of the play, the lapse of concentration in crucial parts of the game led to India's downfall. Given that this was the first game in the qualifiers, all is not lost and India would certainly take some positives out of the match when they go to play Qatar in their next. On that note here are the hits and flops from the game.
#5 Sunil Chhetri (Hit)
Sunil Chhetri led the team from the front. Not only did he score the opening goal of the match from a brilliant left footer, he also helped out the midfielders by dropping deep into the field. After numerous efforts to score in the opening half, India were rewarded in the 24th minute.
A planned set-piece movement did the trick for the ‘Blue Tigers.’
With India being awarded a free-kick close to the sidelines, playmaker Brandon Fernandes produced a lateral pass. Sprinting out of the crowd from the far post, Chhetri rocketed the ball into the net, scoring his 72nd goal in national colours. He was active till the final whistle and marshalled his troops like a true leader.
#4 Subhashish Bose (Flop)
Subhashish Bose had a silent evening in India's first qualification match against Oman. Known for his pace and the speedy runs down the left channel, Subhasish failed to contribute for the 'Blue Tigers' in Guwahati. It was one of his worst performances for the national team.
The former Mohun Bagan player started in his regular position. Although the Indian defenders did not have much to do in the first half, Subhasish was inactive in the second half as well when India were under pressure from a flurry of attacks created by the Omani team. Bose needs to pull up his socks before the match against Qatar.