MUSCAT, Jan 21 – Al Suwaiq hope to come back to the Sultanate with three points as they face Palestine side Hilal Al Quds on Monday in the first leg of the West Zone play-off stage of the 2018 AFC Cup. The match kicks off at 19:00 (Oman Time) at Arab American University Stadium, West Bank. The HM’s Cup champions know that it will not be an easy game as they are suffering from some serious absences such as Mohsen al Ghassani, Omar al Fyzari and the two Gulf Cup champions Harib al Saadi and Mohammed al Musalami, who both moved to Emirates’ Al Jazeera Club.
Head coach Romanian Ilie Balaci will also miss the game over health conditions and his assistant Jie Jie will take charge of the squad. Jie Jie spoke to reporters ahead of the game, saying: “It is a tough game especially as we will play in cold weather. But our players have the experience to deal with such weather conditions. “We hope to play a game that reflects the Oman national team’s crowning as the Gulf Cup champions.” “We are confident because we have good number of national players who can inspire the whole team and comeback to Oman with a positive score,” Jie added. Al Suwaiq will host Hilal Al Quds in the second leg in Oman on January 29.
Jaber Al Ajmi