Oman national team ended their final rehearsal before the Arabian Gulf Cup with a 1-0 victory over Yemen.
After a very normal performance in the first half, Khalid al Hajri gave the Red Warriors the lead in the 56th minute, after he received a brilliant cross from Mohsen Jawhar.
The game clearly showed that the Dutchman Pim Verbeek knew that, his previous tactical system of starting with two deep forwards will not be workable in the Gulf Cup as the encounters (UAE, KSA & Kuwait) are expected to be very tough. So he lined up with the 4-2-3-1 system, putting Khalid al Hajri in the front while Mohsen Jawhar, Harib al Sadi and Ali al Jabri in the midfield, while Jamil al Yahmidi in the right wing while Suad al Farsi as left winger.
In the defence line, the Dutchman started with Saad Suhail (right back), Ali al Busaidi (left back) while Mohammed al Musalami and Fahmi Said as centre-back.
Oman managed to control the possession and play on encounters mistakes, which is a new strategy for the Gulf Cup.
The good thing in the game was the start with centre back Fahmi Said (Al Naser club) who showed a quality of play and might book his place in the starting line-ups in the Gulf Cup instead of Nader Awadh, Mohammed Faraj, and Manae Subait.
In the half-time, Verbeek made two substitutes by replacing Jamil al Yahmidi and Ali al Busaidi to Mahmood Mabrook and Basil al Rawahi, the changes improved the quality and movement of the overall style of play in the second half, especially as Saad Suhail moved to play as right winger lifting his position to Mahmood Mabrook.
The good style of play continued with two other changes by replacing Khalid al Hajri and Saud al Farsi to Said al Ruzaiqi and Yaseen al Shiyadi.
Verbeek will announce the final 23-list for the Gulf Cup on December 19. On the same day they travel to Kuwait.
In this game, the Red Warriors missed the veteran Ahmed Kanu, Raed Ibrahim, Nadir Awadh and the Oman ace Ali al Habsi.
However all of them will be available for Verbeek in the Gulf Cup except Ali al Habsi who may not join due to his commitment with the Saudi al Hilal FC club.
Jaber Al Ajmi