Dismissing claims of a dip in Chhetri's sharpness, Stimac blamed injuries to key players for India's recent struggles.
Our correspondent travels back and forward in time, struggling to make sense of the chaotic 2019 that was the Indian national football team's year.
With World Cup qualification now out of the question, India will be hoping to secure third place in Group E.
What are the key areas that need addressing for the Indian football team ahead of their crucial clash against Oman?
Adil Khan's late header spared the hosts' blushes in a 1-1 draw against Bangladesh in Kolkata
India will go in as firm favourites when they take on Bangladesh in Tuesday's AFC World Cup qualifying match in Kolkata.
Ashique Kuruniyan's willingness to run at opposition defenders has made him an invaluable asset in the Indian team.
Thousands of Hong Kong soccer fans booed loudly and turned their backs when the Chinese national anthem was played before a World Cup qualifier.
Mere days after the heartbreaking loss to Oman, India could be without their captain and talisman when they play Asian Cup champs Qatar.
The Philippines qualifying for their first-ever Asian Cup, boosts football in a country where boxing, basketball and billiards rule the sports scene.
Philippines, North Korea and Yemen earned the final three qualification places for next year's Asian Cup on Tuesday.
Malaysia and Singapore fell one spot each in the latest FIFA rankings to reach historical lows of 175th and 173rd respectively.
Tan Cheng Hoe says he's prepared for 'anything and everything' as coach as he tries to turn around a team who haven't won a match in more than a year.
Malaysia Under-23 boss Ong Kim Swee says he is confident of a bright future working with Tan Cheng Hoe, the new head coach of the senior team.
Malaysia head coach Nelo Vingada resigned on Wednesday following just seven winless months in charge, and six defeats in seven matches.
Former assistant Tan Cheng Hoe was named the new head coach of Malaysia on Thursday, just a day after the resignation of Portugal's Nelo Vingada.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) have revealed ambitious plans to use the expanded 2019 Asian Cup to make football Asia's number one sport.
Home United's Faris Ramli was pipped to S.League Player of the Year by Kento Nagasaki, of Albirex Niigata (S) at the inaugural FAS Nite 2017 on Monday
Malaysia's miserable year got even worse as they fell four places, below Singapore, and dropped to an all-time low FIFA ranking of 174.
The Malaysia Super League will introduce a squad place for an ASEAN player in 2018, which helps Singapore midfielder Hariss Harun who returns to JDT.
Not even Jose Mourinho could have led Malaysia to Asian Cup victories over North Korea and Lebanon, says ex-national boss B. Satianathan.
Before the match against Lebanon, some turned their back on flag as China's anthem was played.
Coach V. Sundramoorthy is now looking ahead to the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup after Singapore failed in their quest to qualify for the 2019 Asian Cup.
Philippines blew a chance to seal their place at the 2019 AFC Asian Cup as they laboured to a 0-0 draw in Nepal and will now have to wait until March.
Singapore's hopes of qualifying for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup went up in smoke after a disappointing 3-0 home defeat to Bahrain on Tuesday night.