#2 Lalengmawia and Bipin Singh brought their A-game for injury-hit India
India traveled to Dubai without regular players like Rahul Bheke, Brandon Fernandes, Sahal Abdul Samad, and most importantly, their captain Sunil Chhetri. The onus was on the new faces to prove their mettle.
While most of them succumbed to the pressure, Lalengmawia and Bipin Singh brought their A-game. Bipin normally plays on the left-wing for Mumbai City FC in the ISL, but head coach Igor Stimac positioned him on the right flank against Oman.
After a quiet first half, the Manipuri speedster floated a lobbing cross, which Manvir Singh later connected to score a goal. With Udanta Singh out of form, Bipin Singh has proven himself to be his capable successor.
After a breakthrough season with NorthEast United FC, Lalengmawia donned the senior national team jersey for the first time against Oman. The Indian Football Team looked more composed after his arrival and he was duly rewarded with a start against UAE. Although he performed his duties perfectly, the team was left wanting by his peers.
#1 Time for Igor Stimac to stop experimenting and aim for the result
In his 12 matches at the helm of the Indian Football Team, Igor Stimac has given debuts to 19 players. The Croatian has time and again tinkered with the starting line-up and that has led to inconsistency in the team's results.
The Indian Football Team initiated a high press on their opponents early in the game. However, it left acres of space behind and UAE made full use of it to thwart India.
Mashoor Shereef and Adil Khan's new-look defensive pairing looked porous. UAE's Ali Mabkhout punished them duly by connecting crosses from the right flank and leaving the pitch with a hat-trick.
Under Stephen Constantine, India had a consistent starting line-up and changes were made only if there were injuries or suspensions. It is high time that Igor Stimac decides on a set playing eleven and target results in the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.