Wednesday, January 26, 2022 | Jumada al-akhirah 22, 1443 H
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Oman eye to repeat historic win

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Muscat: Oman will eye to recall the triumph against the Asian heavyweight Japan on Tuesday at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in the sixth round of group B matches at AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar. The match will kick at 8:00 pm.

Coach Branko Ivankovic’s men will target the winning points as the victory will jump the team to the third or maybe second place in case if Australia is defeated by China.

The triumph will raise the hopes to secure the direct ticket to the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar for first time in history. Moreover, the win against the third-placed team in the group currently will raise the tally to ten points.

Today’s assignment will not be as easy as the strong opponent Japan will be looking for the compensation after their defeat in the first leg in Osaka city earlier in September after Essam al Subhi’s strike led Oman team to a historic win.

Essam and his team-mates will be equipped in today’s encounter with the fans and home support. This will be an assisting tool for the team players to show solid performance.

The Croatian experienced coach is fully aware that the loss will cost the team a lot as the points gap will increase against Japan to five points. The 67-year-old focused during the last training sessions on different technical and tactical sides. The starting line up expected will be similar to the previous fixture against China.

The head coach of the national team, Branko Ivankovic, commenced his statement in the press meet on Monday congratulating Omani community on the occasion of the 51st National Day. “Our hopes are very high in Japan’s encounter with full respect to all the teams. The team players will deliver their best in home match to spread the joy among the national team audience,” he added.

Responding to an inquiry regarding the injured players, coach Branko, said that there are no injured players expect those who did not take part in the last fixture including Mohammed Al Maslami, Abdulaziz Al Gheilani and Mohsin al Ghassani.

“Playing with full spirit was the title in all the previous matches and we will do everything to accomplish the victory. Winning against Japan in the first match gave us a message that we can win in any game. The triumph against a top Asian team will assist us a lot in the remaining games. However, Japan is more stronger than the previous match and every team is looking for the winning points in the remaining matches,” he ended.

On the other hand, the head coach of Japan team, Hajime Moriyasu, said that Oman’s encounter will be tough.

“Our goal is to win after losing in the previous match. Oman is a well developed team and this we noticed in the last fixtures of the team. We managed to win in the previous games and returned back to the competition circle. We hope to continue in the same path and register the victory against Oman,'' he ended.

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