The Blue Tigers’ eight-year wait for an away victory goes on.
India were sentenced to an eye-opening defeat in their first match for five months as Tajikistan cruised to a 3-0 victory on Wednesday night.
Wim Koevermans’ side turned in a rusty display in front of the 10,000 fans crammed into the 20 Years of Independence Stadium as the hosts, ranked 31 places above the Blue Tigers raced into a two goal lead inside the first 18 minutes.
It took only 12 minutes for the visitors to break the deadlock after Davronov Nuriddin’s perfectly timed run saw him meet Fatkhuloev Fatkhullo’s low cross from the left and steer the ball past Sandip Nandy.
Fatkhullo then doubled the Crown’s advantage six minutes later with a wonderfully executed free kick from just outside the penalty area, after Nirmal Chettri cynically hauled down the advancing Vasiev Dilshod.
With a two-goal deficit to pull back India finally threatened the Oman goal but found goalkeeper Tuychiev Alisher equal to Clifford Miranda’s rasping left-foot drive as the away side took their two-goal cushion into the break.
Koeverman’s made a double substitution at the interval but it did nothing to alter the course of the game as Akhtam Khamrakulov applied the gloss for Red Warriors in the 93rd minute.