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Having gone behind to a Jamal Ibrahim goal, India had to wait until the 88th minute before Romeo Fernandes headed home a deserved equalizer for the Blue Tigers....

India came back from a goal down to hold the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to a 1-1 draw in the U-22 AFC Championship qualifiers at the Royal Oman Police Stadium in Oman.

Having conceded a goal in just the 9th minute, when Jamal Ibrahim found the back of the net for the London Olympics bound side, India had to wait until the 88th minute to cash in on their superiority in the game, as Romeo Fernandes eventually headed the ball home to restore parity.

Having let in an early goal, India immediately started applying the pressure on the Al Abyad, with the trio of Lalrindika Ralte, Milan Singh and Pranay Halder tormenting the opposition with their movement and work-rate.

By the time the referee blew the half time whistle, UAE had survived seven corners and a close hand ball call, and were glad to go into half-time holding on to the lead.

The second half saw India yet again start on the offensive, with their opponents firmly on the backfoot.

The Blue Tigers should have gone ahead when Tirthankar Sarkar was presented with a great opportunity in the 51st minute. However, with the goal gaping in front of him, the Pailan Arrows man headed narrowly wide.

Sarkar did not get a chance to make amends for his mistake, as in the 69th minute he was replaced by Jeje Lalpekhlua, who was similarly wasteful with a free header from a Milan Singh corner.

It looked like a day where nothing would go right for India, before Romeo headed home in the 88th minute, following a clever throw in by Vishal Kumar.

The Dempo midfielder then almost snatched all three points for the Blue Tigers, when he ran clear of the opposition defenders but was thwarted by the rival goalkeeper from just six yards.

That proved to be the last major chance of the game, as UAE held on for a share of the spoils.

India meanwhile next play Turkmenistan on June 30th.

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