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India 1-1 Oman: Manvir Singh goal lead Blue Tigers to a deserved draw

India Oman, Football Express

After a wait of almost 500 days, the Indian National Football Team was back in action. India were up against Oman in an international friendly at the Maktoum Bin Rashid Stadium in Dubai.

The two had faced earlier in 2019 during the World Cup qualifiers where Oman defeated the men in blue by one goal to nil. However, this time they shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw.

Chinglensana’s own goal gave Oman a first-half lead which was equalized by Manvir Singh in the other half of the game.

India Oman, Football Express
Manvir SIngh equalizes against Oman

India 1-1 Oman Team News:

Head coach Igor Stimac started with a 4-5-1 formation with veteran Sandesh Jhinghan leading the Blue Tigers. India’s starting XI also included Amrinder Singh, Ashutosh Mehta, Akash Mishra, Chinglensana Sigh, Manvir Singh, Bipin Singh, Suresh Singh, Rowllin Borges, Jeakson Singh, and Ashique Kuruniyan.

India 1-1 Oman Analysis:

India had a defensive strategy which was continuously put to test by the Omanis. The men in blue hardly managed to create chances and were lucky to stay only a goal down in the first half.  Amrinder failed to collect the ball effectively after Al Aghbari’s made a low cross towards the middle of the penalty box. Chinglensana’s scored an own goal in an attempt to clear the ball and Oman had the lead in the 43rd minute of the game.

Shortly after the start of the second half, Bipin Singh received the ball from Lalengmawia put a delightful cross from the right-wing into the box. ATK Mohun Bagan star Manvir Singh headed it home. 35 minutes left till the final whistle and it was all equal at the Maktoum Bin Rashid Stadium.

India defended much better after the equalizer and was looking more confident on the ball. It seemed like the Blue Tigers were not focusing on scoring another and diligently safeguarded the point earned at the start of the second half.

Even though the Blue Tigers were the second-best for most parts of the clash, they did a commendable job considering India played international football after a long gap of 15 months. Oman ranks 23 places above India and a draw would not be something to frown upon given that the Indian GOAT Sunil Chhetri was missing and the squad had an average age of only 24.

“The second half shows that there is nothing to fear about. Of course, these are better sides and there is a difference of 25-30 spots in the rankings, which is a big gap. But, it doesn’t mean we can’t get the result and we showed it today also.” – said Stimac to AIFF

Not to forget, a new record was made as India played 10 debutants in the match. This reassured the faith Stimac had displayed on the youngsters of the squad.

Notable Performances:

Manvir Singh(8/10): Manvir’s stunning header is what saved the night for the Blue Tigers.

Amrinder Singh(8/10): Oman was in an attacking mood throughout the match and took most of the shots out of the two sides. Amrinder guarded the goalposts well enough to ensure not to concede more goals.

India will be facing UAE in their next international friendly on 29th March at 9:45 PM IST.

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