AFC Asian Cup qualifier: Oman register a huge 14-0 win over Bhutan

By Haridev Pushparaj — MUSCAT: March 28 – Abdulaziz al Maqbali and substitute Khalid al Hajri were the stars of the show as Oman produced a scintillating performance to register a huge 14-0 win over Bhutan in their opening AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers Group D match at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex on Tuesday. Abdulaziz (2nd, 36th, 41st, 43rd, 69th, 86th) and substitute Khalid al Hajri (70th, 75th, 90+1, 90+2) struck ten goals between them while Ahmed Mubarak (25th), Mohsen Jawhar (31st), and Nadir Awadh (45th, 54th) chipped in with four more.
Oman were off to a flying start after a second minute goal by Abdulaziz al Maqbali, who netted at the end of a fine run.
Bhutan were immediately put under pressure by the superior Oman attack.
Oman’s midfielders Ahmed Mubarak and Mohsen Jawhar were pressing at the Bhutan defence at regular intervals in the first ten minutes of the game.
Bhutan’s Chencho Gheltshen attempted a few tricks to break the Omani defence but Saad al Mukhaini and Mohammad al Musalami were alert.
In the 17th minute, Saad’s cross went a begging after a great run down the right wing as Oman looked for the second goal.
Ali Sulaiman al Busaidy cracked a long-range shot in the 22nd minute that flew over the crosspiece as the Omani fans blasted their music.
It was Ahmed Mubarak Kanu’s turn to then double Oman’s lead when he broke away and launched a shot that found the back of the net in the 25th minute. The fans were delirious at this point in time and Oman on the ascendancy.
Bhutan made a substitution in the 29th minute as Chimi Dorji came in for Choki Wangchuk and the visitors looked to stop the goal rush.
Mohsen Jawhar smashed the third goal in the 31st minute as Oman were unstoppable against the hapless, inexperienced Bhutan team.
Bhutan earned their first corner in the 35th minute but wasted it with some directionless play.
Abdulaziz then came to the fore again as struck off a header in the 36th minute as Oman looked devastating with their finishing. It was 4-0 up for Oman and so much time left in the game.
Abdulaziz was relentless henceforth as he slotted in Oman’s fifth and his third goal in the 41st minute as the match slided into a no-contest.
It was a carnage thereafter as Abdulaziz tapped in goal number six for Oman in the 43rd minute and quadrupled his tally as Bhutan had no answers.
The first half came to a close as Oman slammed the seventh goal through Nadir Awadh Bait Mabrook in the 45th minute.
After resumption, the game followed a similar script as Nadir Awadh tapped in his second goal and Oman’s eighth in the 54th minute.
Ali al Habsi, who hardly had any work to do, made a fine save in the 56th minute off a Bhutanese attack.
Assistant coach Muhanna al Adawi then looked to test Oman’s bench strength as he brought Saud al Farsi in the field replacing Sami al Hasani.
Abdulaziz got a fiver as he netted another header off a short pass in the 69th minute as Oman stretched their tally to 9-0.
It was 10-0 in the 70th minute as substitute Khalid Khalifa al Hajri, who replaced Raed Saleh, scored his first international goal.
Bhutan then brought in Sonam Tobgay in place of Tshering Dorji to make something happen but to no avail.
Khalid netted his second goal in the 75th minute as Oman’s goal riot continued into the eleventh.
Ahmed Kanu was then relieved of his duties as Harib al Saadi was brought in by assistant coach Al Adawi.
Abdulaziz got his sixth goal and Oman were 12-0 in the 86th minute as the match veered towards a predictable end.
Khalid then converted a penalty and scored another field goal to round off Oman’s tally at 14.