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India’s AFC U22 Championship dreams shattered

India U22

The India U22 national team lost its final AFC U22 Championship Group A Qualifier against hosts Oman at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex on Tuesday. The Indian team had to win the final game against the Arab team to keep hopes alive to gain direct qualification for the finals next year. But it turned out to be a 0-4 defeat at the end of the match.

The Indian team started off well and Arthur Papas’ boys managed to overcome the initial pressure by Oman. India had a first attempt on target, when a shot by Lalrindika Ralte hit the wall and Manandeep Singh took the rebound with a powerful left footer in the 21st minute. But Manandeep’s attempt was well saved by Omani keeper Mazin Masaud Darwish Al-Kasbi.

Manandeep was a live wire in the first half for the Indian team. The youngster broke free just nine minutes later and dribbled into the box with only Al-Kasbi left to beat. But the Omani keeper kept him at bay and the score remained 0-0.

Oman mainly relied on their 19-year-old star Raed Ibrahim Saleh, who has been already capped for the senior national team during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. But the Indian defence kept him and the other Omani players away from the danger area.

On the other side young Alwyn George had an impressive match for the Indian team. The striker had his best chance in the 43rd minuted, but his volley went well wide.

But things turned into the favour of the strong Arabs after the lemon break. Oman took the lead eights minutes into the second half, when Hamood Saleh Said Al Sadi beat India keeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu to give the hosts a 1-0 lead at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex.

The hosts increased the pressure on the Indian boys and they further increased the lead in the 66th minute. Raed Ibrahim Saleh finally managed to find some gap in the Indian defence and took advantage of it to make it 2-0.

Mohammed Saleh Hadid Al Mukhaini (75′) added a third goal for his team, while the Omanis hit the target once again in the dying moments of the match to seal a 4-0 win.

Meanwhile, UAE and Iraq settled for a 0-0 draw in another Group A match held simultaneously at the Royal Oman Police Stadium. The outcame of this match had also some importance to the Indian team as reported earlier [click here to read].

Please read the detailed match report at the end of this page…


OMAN U22 4-0 INDIA U22


1-0 Hamood Saleh Said Al Sadi (54′)
2-0 Raed Ibrahim Saleh (67′)
3-0 Mohammed Saleh Hadid Al Mukhaini (75′, pen)
4-0 Mubarak Humaid Mubarak Al-Maqbali (89′)



33-Mazin Masaud Darwish Al-Kasbi; 5-Mohammed Saleh Hadid Al Mukhaini, 6-Muheeb Azat Issa, 3-Sami Mubarak Faraj Ba Awain; 4-Mana Sabeit Fayal Sarbukha Al-Sarbukha, 7-Raed Ibrahim Saleh, 10-Badar Nasib Saleem Bamasila [C], 21- Abdullah Nouh Bilal Al-Hamar; 17-Basim Abdullah Taeeb Al-Rajaibi, 18-Hamood Saleh Said Al Sadi, 23-Abdullah Saleh Abdul Hadi Salim

1-Gurpreet Singh Sandhu [C]; 26-Vishal Kumar (72′ 3-Abhishek Das), 6-Prathamesh Maulinkar, 14-Souvik Ghosh, 2-Pritam Kotal; 17-Ongnam Milan Singh, 31-Romeo Fernandes (64′ 10-Jeje Lalpekhlua), 8-Lalrindika Ralte, 34-Pranay Halder (82′ 15-Deepak Prakash); 12-Alwyn George, 35-Manandeep Singh



There are days when domination doesn’t yield you anything. Tuesday (July 3) stayed such. India despite having more possession for most part of the match bowed out of the AFC U-22 Championship when they went down to Oman four-nil in the last match at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Muscat. Hamood Saleh scored the first goal for Oman in the 54th minute while Faed Ibrahim scored the second goal in the 67th minute. Besides, Saleh Hadid and Mubarak Humaid scored one apiece.

After a dominating first half, India lost control in the second half. If it was all India in the first 45 minutes, the first 20 minutes of the second half settled the issue for the hosts. India finished with 7 points from 5 matches while Oman on 10 points from 7 matches.

India started the match on a bright note. They absorbed the initial pressure and slowly started the buildup. A Lalrindika Ralte freekick from striking zone struck the Wall and Manandeep Singh’s powerful left footer was punched out by rival goalkeeper Mazin Masud in the 21st minute. Manandeep again broke free in the 30th minute and ran inside the box but Masud managed to keep him at bay.

For the hosts, 19-year old Raed Ibrahim stayed the pivot. Being a part of the Senior Oman side in the World Cup Qualifiers, he was nippy to create problems for the Indian defence. But the two Central defenders Prathamesh Maulingkar and and Shouvik Ghosh stood tall.

On the other hand, Alwyn George was creating all sorts of problems for the rival defence. Oman were not willing to allow him space and once he started his run, he got suffocated at the top of the rival box. In the 43rd minute, his back volley sailed over.

But Oman came back with more purpose in the second half. They didn’t allow the Indians to settle down and were eventually rewarded when Hamood Saleh tapped in a Abdullah Saleh pass in the 54th minute. Minutes later, Saleh’s header hit the post.

Jeje Lalpehlua was introduced in the 63rd minute in place of Romeo Fernandes. But Oman pressed hard and Faed Ibrahim made it 2-0 in the 67th minute after he had sneaked down the right. A minute after Faed’s goal, Manandeep’s header off a Dika corner missed by a whisker.

But Oman struck again. Pranay Halder brought down Badar Nasib inside the box and though off the resultant penalty Gurpreet Singh Sandhu kept it at bay, Saleh Hadid tapped in the rebound.

In the 88th minute, a Jeje rasper from the top box was saved by Mazin for a corner and off the counter attack, Mubarak Humaid made it 4-0.

(AIFF Match Report / Written by Nilanjan Datta)