India needed a win against the higher-ranked Oman on Tuesday to reach the next round. The defeat would close all the way for Indian team. The Indian team has won just one of the eight matches against Oman. In the first match played in Guwahati in September, Chhetri’s round of support in the first half helped India win but Oman defeated India by two goals in the last ten minutes.
After this, the Indian team played a draw from the lower ranked Afghanistan and Bangladesh teams. After playing goalless draw from the Asian champions, The Indian team finished fourth in Group E with three points. Oman is in second place with nine points from four matches. Qatar is on top with ten points. An unexpected win over Oman will keep the Indian team’s hopes alive, but losing will leave them out of the World Cup 2022 qualification race. If lost, India will be behind Oman by nine points. India will have three matches left which means it will get a maximum of nine points. The runners-up team of the eight groups is also not certain to get a direct place in the third round. India will play Qatar (26 March), Bangladesh (4 June) and Afghanistan (9 June).
It will be important for India to take at least one point against Oman as it will make it easier to secure a place in the third round of the Asian Cup 2023 qualifiers. The tournament is a joint qualifying round for the Asian Cup. The third-placed teams from the eight groups and the best four teams from the fourth place will advance to the third round of the Cup qualifiers.