India loss to Oman, bow out of AFC U-22 Cship

Muscat: India crashed out of AFC U-22 football championship after suffering a 0-4 thrashing at the hands of hosts Oman in a must-win final league round match at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex here.

The defeat late last night meant the Indian colts not only failed to qualify for the final round of the AFC U-22 championship, but also lost out on a place in next year`s Asian Cup.

India finished their campaign with seven points from five matches, while Oman have 10 points from as many games.

After a barren opening half, Hamood Saleh scored the first goal for Oman in the 54th minute followed by strikes from Faed Ibrahim (67th minute), Saleh Hadid (75th) and Mubarak Humaid (89th).

After dominating the proceedings in the opening 45 minutes, the Indians lost the plot in the second half. If it was all India in the opening half, the first 20 minutes of the second half went to Oman.

India, however, started the match on a bright note and slowly started the build up after absorbing the initial pressure.

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 Oman goalkeeper Masud once again managed to keep the Indian forward at bay. After a goalless first half, Oman came out with more purpose after the change of ends.

The home team did not allow the Indians to settle down and were eventually rewarded when Saleh tapped in a Abdullah Saleh pass in the 54th minute. Minutes later Saleh was denied by the wood work as his header hit the post.

Jeje Lalpehlua was introduced in the 63rd minute in place of Romeo Fernandes, but the move failed to yield any result as Ibrahim doubled the scoreline for Oman in the 67th minute after sneaking in from the right.

A minute later, Manandeep`s header off a Dika corner missed the Oman goal by a whisker. Oman struck again, this time from the penalty spot when Pranay Halder brought down Badar Nasib inside the box. It was Hadid who tapped in from a rebound after his initial spot kick was saved by Indian custodian Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.

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