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Red Warriors’ fans disappointed after hopes dented by Japan

MUSCAT, Nov 17

Oman’s hopes to secure tickets to 2022 Fifa World Cup in Doha was dented by Japan after the latter defeated the ‘Red Warriors’ 1-0 by a late goal through Junya Ito on Tuesday.

As many as 14,123 fans attended the match at Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex to support the Red Warriors. The spectators left the venue with disappointment as the fans were looking for a much improved performance that would have revived the hopes after winning against the Asian heavyweight in Osaka city earlier in September.

Oman head coach, Branko Ivankovic, said post the encounter that the team could not dedicate the win for the domestic community which is celebrating 51st National day. “Unfortunately, the team suffered a loss in the game. Japan striker managed to register a goal from a mistake. In football you have to take the advantages of the mistakes and convert it into goals and targets. I cannot talk more about the fixture until the final analysis of the game. However, I am satisfied in some parts of the game,” he added.

The Croatian coach affirmed that the players cannot maintain the same technical level during the whole match in both halves. “The opponent was not an easy task as it is the top Asian team. The team still has some chances and we have to work hard until the concluding fixture,” he ended.

The third successive win in a row for Japan moved them into the second place with 12 points and pushed Australia to third place at 11 points. Australia and China played out a 1-1 draw in Sharjah stadium. Saudi Arabia is topping the group with 16 points after they defeated Vietnam 1-0 on Tuesday.

Japan’s coach Hajime Moriyasu said that the encounter was tough as expected. “Persistence and determination led Japan to the triumph result in the match. Everyone in the team, whether played or not, worked very hard to perform well in the ground. It was a difficult match but players moved with their clear target until accomplishing the desired win,” he concluded.

The forthcoming round of AFC Asian qualifiers — Road to Qatar will take place on January 27th, 2022. Oman will take on Saudi Arabia in Riyadh while Japan will face China. Australia will play against Vietnam at the former’s home turf.

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