Muscat: India were beaten 0-1 by hosts Oman in a 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifier at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex on Tuesday.
Muhsen Al-Ghassani scored the all-important goal in the 33rd minute of the Group E match. It was India’s second defeat in five matches, that kept them at fourth position with three points from five matches.
Asian champions Qatar who have 13 points from five matches. Oman are at second spot with 12 points. India were beaten 1-2 by Oman in the first leg at Guwahati.
Igor Stimac made three changes to the side that drew 1-1 against Afghanistan last week. Mandar Rao Desai, Pritam Kotal and Sahal Samad made way for Nishu Kumar, Farukh Choudhary, and Manvir Singh, with Ashique Kuruniyan playing as left-back.
India conceded a penalty in the sixth minute when Rahul Bheke brought down striker Muhsen Al Ghassani in the box.
FULL-TIME! The referee blows the long whistle, and Oman take the 3⃣ points.
— Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) November 19, 2019
But Al Ghassani blasted his spot-kick into the stands. He, however, made amends in the 33rd minute. Mohsin Al Khaldi opened up the Indian defence with a superb through-ball to the forward.
The 22-year-old slotted it into the bottom corner past a helpless Gurpreet Singh.
India began the second half positively but couldn’t maintain the intensity. They had some sighters at goal but were not competent enough inside the box.
Al Mandhar Al Alawi created the major threat for the Indian defenders. He created a couple of goal-scoring chances for Ali Al Busaidi but Gurpreet was upto the task.
India had no other notable chance in the later stage of the match and Oman controlled the flow of the game to pick up three points.