Oman thrash India in World Cup qualifier

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:06 IST

India's hopes to make headway in the qualifying stages of the 2006 World Cup in Germany suffered a big jolt today as the hosts went down 1-5 to Oman.

Oman thrash India in World Cup qualifier

Kochi:

India's hopes to make headway in the qualifying stages of the 2006 World Cup in Germany suffered a big jolt today as the hosts went down 1-5 to Oman in front of packed house at the Jawaharlal Nehru international stadium here today. At half time Oman led 2-1 in the Asian Zone Group III clash. Oman drew first blood in the 12th minute through Amad Ali Suliman but India restored parity two minutes later through Rendey Singh after Baichung Bhutia won a penalty from the Malaysian referee. But that was all India could manage as Oman were propelled to a big win by four more goals from Ahmed Mubarak (26th, 52nd) and substitute Mohamed Mubarak (59th, 82nd). India, who had beaten Singapore in their first match, will now travel to Japan to take on the Asian Champions in June. Oman, enjoying a clear upperhand, went for the attack right from the kick-off and scored goals seemingly at will toying with the Indian defence. The vistors could have won by a bigger margin had their strikers been on target. The day was certainly not India's, as they fumbled with erratic exchanges down the midfield, failed to control the ball and were easily tackled by the tall Omanese players. Oman, ranked 69th to India's 140 in the latest FIFA ranking list, got off to an aggressive start with forwards Fouzi Bashir Rajab and Ahmed Mubarak breathing down the rival area troubling the Indian defence with pace and superb ball control. The visitors worked up different patterns that caught the Indian defence napping. After fumbling once, Oman got their reward in the 12th minute through Amad Ali, who leapt high into the air to head in a free-kick taken by Hassan Yousuf. However, India restored within two minutes through a brilliant counter attack. Captain Bhutia, who got possession of the ball sped into the box dodging past a couple of defenders, but was brought down by Omanese defender Mohammed Noobi. Malaysian referee Denny Ong Heng had no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot and mid-fielder Renedy Singh converted the kick much to the delight of the over 40,000 spectators who thronged at the stadium. (PTI)



Topics : Football
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