Muscat, Oct 12 (IANS) India will look to avoid their fifth consecutive defeat of their pathetic 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign when they face higher ranked Oman at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex here on Tuesday.
World No.167 India have lost all their four matches so far to be rooted at the bottom of Group D. They lost against world No.102 Oman 1-2 in their home match at Bengaluru. Oman have eight points from four matches and are at the second spot in the five-team group, lead by Iran.
“We obviously take confidence from that game. But at that time we were playing at home and now we are playing away. We are yet to garner points and definitely want to change the trend,” Indian captain Sunil Chhetri said in a pre-match press conference here on Monday.
“We aim to keep all the negatives away and not project it as a reason as to why we are weak.”
Indian chief coach Stephen Constantine expects the match to be another tough outing for the beleaguered team.
“It will be a very difficult match for us. Oman are one of the most underrated teams and most importantly, they know to play Football,” Constantine said in a statement from the All India Football Federation (AIFF).
The Indian team reached Muscat after a day-long delay due to weather from Ashbagat, Turkmenistan, where it lost 1-2.
“It’s not the best preparation as we go into the match, but again, it is what it is,” he added.
India will be without the services of suspended midfielder Eugenson Lyngdoh, who will sit out the match due to a double booking.
Constantine wants his team to fight.
“We have respect for Oman but we are here to play and we will fight. We didn’t come here to lose. We lost three matches with the same margin, 1-2 and that suggests that we are close,” he concluded.