Dubai: A Manvir Singh header in the second half helped India to hold Oman 1-1 in an international friendly on Thursday. The encounter also saw as many as 10 debutants for India.
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 respective debuts from the bench.
Coming to international action after 492 days, the young Indian side played some brilliant football to hold on against the Gulf side. The match started at a good pace as the Indian defence looked strong under the leadership of Sandesh Jhingan.
However, Oman took the lead just two minutes from the halftime whistle, thanks to an own goal from Chinglensana. The Indian defender attempted to block a cross from the left by Al Akhbari managing to get a foot onto the cross but the deflection, in the melee, hit Amrinder and trickled over the Indian goal-line.
In the second half, Manvir scored the equaliser at the 55th minute. Ashutosh Mehta made a clever interception in the opposition half, soared up the right-wing, and played Bipin into the box.
The latter lobbed in a cross aimed at Manvir, who came up with a perfect header, nodding the ball into the ground and past the keeper, putting India on level terms.
Igor Stimac would be happy with the performance of his newly formed side. They have shown their class and resistance to hold upon a team like Oman and fought against the sheer heat of Dubai.