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Highlights | Oman Beat India 1-0 in FIFA World Cup Qualifier

The first half goal from Muhsen Al-Ghassani proved the difference as Oman football team beat Indian football team in their FIFA World Cup qualifier match in Muscat. Get highlights and analysis of the Oman vs India FIFA World Cup qualifier match below.
Oman vs India FIFA World Cup qualifier highlights and analysis

Indian football team’s Ashique Kuruniyan vies for the ball with Saad Al Mukhaini of Oman during their FIFA World Cup qualifier match in Muscat. Get highlights and analysis of the Oman vs India FIFA World Cup qualifier match below.

Oman beat Indian football team 1-0 through a strike from Muhsen Al-Ghassani in their FIFA World Cup qualifier match at Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Muscat on November 19. Al-Ghassani finished from a brilliant through pass from the dangerous Al Mandhar as Oman went into the half time break with a 1-0 lead. Things could have been much worse for India had Al-Ghassani converted from the spot earlier in the match. Igor Stimac has more things to worry though thanks to two forced substitutions -- injury ending Adil Khan and Pronay Halder´s outing. Sunil Chhetri was invisible right though the first half with no one to provide balls to the talismanic striker. India did came back stronger in the second half but was unable to break open the Omani defense and score. (Get highlights and analysis of the Oman vs India FIFA World Cup qualifier match below).

Five Talking Points at Full Time

1. When Chhetri is not involved in the game, despite being on the pitch for the full 90, it’s clear that something is not right. Whether it was the formation, the movement or Oman’s defence, India’s most potent threat was nullified both as goal-getter as well as linkman/creator. 

2. There are glimpses of India being able to change the plan. In the second half today they played longer balls, out to the wings, and pressed higher. Though there was no real impact, at least the change of plans put some pressure on the home side and forced them to give away possession in their defensive third, on occasion. However, pumping the ball up and hoping for the best is never going to be enough. 

3. Ashique Kuruniyan was India’s standout player today. Both club and country need to do as much as possible to look after him physically and help him grow into the game. Not only did he and Farukh do well defensively on India’s left flank, but they also provided come decent attacking attempts in the second half. 

4. If we are really building a team for the 2026 World Cup, we need not bother trying. But if the focus is on the 2023 Asian Cup, younger players need to start more games and see more games through. This is a dare to Stimac to leave Chhetri on the bench for the next fixture. 

5. Injuries. Clearly playing fewer games, and a short domestic season, is not helping. India have a bank of about 35 players who make turn out for the senior squad. The think tank needs to work out how to keep these guys fit. If Chhetri, at 35 or so the oldest in the squad, it is entirely possible younger players can do the same.   

Highlights of the match below:

Live blog

Oman vs India: Welcome!

Hello folks, Welcome to our live coverage of the Oman vs India FIFA World Cup qualifier tie in Muscat. 

Tough Night Ahead for India

India have always been the underdogs against Oman. The two sides have played 11 matches. Oman have won eight matches while the rest have been stalemates. Before the first leg match in Guwahati in September (a 2-1 win for Oman), the two sides played out a 0-0 draw ahead of the 2019 Asian Cup. During the qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup (played in 2015), India  lost to Oman 0-3 (in Muscat), and 1-2 in Bengaluru.

Manvir Gets a Start, Chhetri to Play Deep

Alright Alright Alright! Big news is that Manvir Singh starts up front. And Sunil Chhetri, following in the long tradition of ‘ageing greats’, drops into that No. 10 position. He will play deeper, he will be responsible to move the ball creatively, and most importantly, he will be the fulcrum that this team’s energy needs. 

Logic Behind the Chhetri Shift

For a while now the discussion in our live blog room -- most often when India are struggling to play up front and Chhetri is being forced to drop deep anyway -- has been how it is necessary to shift his position. That’s what players like, ahem, Lionel Messi have been doing with age. The problem though is that Chhetri is a natural finisher, he has the ability to kill the move with a goal when necessary (that record proves its own point) and therefore it has inhibited coaches from enforcing the transition. Now the call has been made. Perhaps also provoked by the fact that Chhetri is in the middle of a mini goal drought.

Ten Minutes to Go

The teams are ready to come out of the tunnel. Partisan home crowd present on the stands. A sizeable Indian crowd too, Manjappada included.

Full House

The smart thing to do when building a stadium is colour the seats the same as the team’s home kit. Even empty they look intimidating. Not that we are saying the Muscat stadium is empty. Oman have plenty of support.

We Await the Anthems

Anthem time soon. Then kick off. We are obliged to tell you when the latter happens and we shall.


1’ And we kick off. India start proceedings from the right side of the camera, and immediately try some deft passing before Adil is forced to take some evasive action from a misplaced Bheke pass. Oman have the ball now.

Pronay has a Niggle

3’ Not much to report. Oman look a bit edgy to be fair. Pronay concedes a foul and immediately goes down clutching his shoulder. The medics are called on. Report suggested he was nursing an injury prior to the game. He is an important cog in today’s midfield machine. Stimac looks a bit concerned.

Adil Clears

4’ Oman clean up India’s right side of defence with some slick one touch passing, but unfortunately the final cross lets them down. It is cleared comfortably by Adil Khan, and Oman have to build again.

Penalty for Oman

6’ From their reset, Oman play a deft through ball to Muhsen Al-Ghassani. Al-Ghassani cuts into the box, and Bheke forced into action, tugs at him, falls down and brings Al-Ghassani down. The referee points straight to the spot. No doubt there.

Al-Ghassani Skies the Shot

8’ And Al-Ghassani shoots the ball high and wide. It is still dropping as we speak. That is a real reprieve for India. And for Bheke. Not Franz like at all that tackle, no matter how many times the commentators try saying ‘that was a soft penalty’.

Scrappy from Both Sides

10’ This is a really scrappy game as of now. Most of it being slugged out in midfield. Literally. The Oman crowd are looking very lively despite the missed penalty. They are singing, they are clapping and a chorus is ringing from the stands.

Mexican Wave in Muscat

14’ There’s a Mexican wave on the stands.

Sachin, Sachin: Joke’s on Indian Football


Knock knock.
Who’s there?
Indian Football.
Indian Football who?
Sachin, Sachin!

Oman Shoots Wide

16’ Al-Ghafri has a shot from distance. Gurpreet dives to cover it, but he doesn’t need to. It is safely wide.

Unbiased Commentary!!!!

It’s always great to hear commentators maintain objectivity. Like when they say a body check is a “soft penalty”, or refer to one side as “us” and the other as “them”. 

Indian Find Rare Possession

17’ India have a bit of possession around the Oman box, towards the left. Ashique and Farukh play some good passes, before losing the ball to a fairly playable pass. Oman launch a counter, but take a hurried shot from distance. High, wide, still falling.

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