Prime Sports, International (Dubai), March 26:- Manvir Singh and Amrinder Singh played crucial roles for India on their return to international football after 492 days as the Blue Tigers were held to a 1-1 draw by Oman at the Maktoum Bin Rashid Stadium on Thursday.
Manvir jumped enough to nod in Bipin Singh’s cross in the second half, cancelling out a first-half strike by Oman. Amrinder had a stellar game, saving a penalty, and making numerous saves to deny the Omani forwards a second goal.
India head coach Igor Stimac handed international debuts to as many as 10 players — Akash Mishra, Ashutosh Mehta, Chinglensana Singh, Suresh Singh Wangjam, Bipin Singh, and Jeakson Singh were the debutants who started the match while Lalengmawia Ralte, Yasir Mohammad, Ishan Pandita, and Mashoor Shereef got their debuts from the bench.
With 10 debuts, Stimac became the first Blue Tigers head coach to hand the most number of maiden international caps in a single match, in this century. Stephen Constantine, previously held this record, handing out seven debuts in India’s game against Nepal on March 12, 2015.
Despite the fact that Oman started off on the front foot, India got a couple of early chances, when a throw-in by Ashutosh Mehta from deep inside the Oman half found Manvir, whose shot on the turn was deflected out of play. Sandesh Jhingan got in a decent effort from the resulting Bipin Singh corner, but it was off target.
Around the quarter-hour mark, Oman had a good chance to take the lead when Amjad Al Harthi penetrated the India box from the right and sent in a low cross towards Abdullah Abdulghafur. But the latter’s effort was blocked thanks to a last-ditch tackle by Ashutosh Mehta. (MR, Inputs: Agencies).