India face a must-win situation against hosts Oman in their final league round match of the U-22 football championship here tomorrow to brighten their chances of booking a berth in next year’s Asian Cup.
The Indian side would also be hoping that the other results go in their favour.
Both India and Oman stay on seven points from four matches at the moment,though Arthur Papas’s side is ahead on goal difference (+5 in comparison to Oman’s +1).
The situation demands a win but that does not guarantee a spot in the final phase. Both Iraq and United Arab Emirates stay on 10 points and only an Indian and an Iraqi victory against UAE will see India through.
In case of any other result,India will be out of the tournament.
“It’s complicated. Let us try for a victory against Oman. We take the field to win every match,whoever the opposition may be. We have improved with every match so far,” head coach Papas said.
“But Oman are very capable side. Not only are they ahead in the FIFA Rankings (97 in comparison to India’s 164),but they also boast of some very talented individuals. We go into the match as underdogs,” he said.
National coach Wim Koevermans,who has watched two of India’s matches,said,”No match is ever easy. In football you have to fight on the field.”
Captain Jeje Lalpekhlua said that the team needs to give 200 per cent on the field.
“Against Oman,we need to give our 200 per cent on the ground. Try your best and leave the rest,” he said.