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Half-time talk inspired players: Ivankovic

Muscat, Oct 13

Oman kept alive their hopes after a 3-1 triumph against Vietnam on Tuesday in the fourth round of group B at Asian qualifiers – Road to Qatar 2022. The victory will equip the players with more encouragement and excitement ahead of their crunch fixture against China on November 11 in an away game before hosting Japan on November 15.

Oman head coach Branko Ivankovic expressed satisfaction over the result. “I am very proud with the final result of the fixture. The players showed a perfect performance. They delivered high efforts and deserved the win. I am happy that we made the community happy with the triumph,” he added.

During the break, the Croatian coach had some good session with the players and feels Oman’s good plan inspired the players to register the winning goals. “We focused on ways to make a comeback in the game during the half-time. Many scoring attempts were created but with no luck. However, the team managed to win the match,” he said.

The 67-year-old commented on the league commencement soon and he said: ”With start of domestic league, the players will get good match exposure and this will help them to focus and maintain the technical performance. The chances to join in the squad of the national team is open for any player who will deliver top show during the league,” he concluded.

The ‘Red Warriors’ began the campaign with a stunning 1-0 win over Asian heavyweights Japan. Then, the team suffered two defeats against Saudi Arabia and Australia in the second and third rounds respectively.

After the win against Vietnam, Oman moved up to third with six points and behind leaders Saudi Arabia who displaced Australia after the beat China 3-2.

Australia went down to Japan 2-1 to slip to the second spot. Japan are fourth with six points and China stand fifth with three points.

Vietnam, who made their debut appearance at the deciding round of AFC Asian Qualifiers, suffered their fourth consecutive defeat and are placed at the bottom of Group B.

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