Muscat, Jan 17
Oman national team snatched the final berth after victory against Bahrain with Jamil al Yahmadi goal in the 25th Arabian Gulf Cup competition at the Basra International Stadium in Iraq on Monday.
Oman qualified for the semifinals after beating Saudi Arabia in their last group match. The Red Warriors reached the final match for the fifth time out of six.
Oman national team participated in 22 previous editions of the Arabian Gulf Cup, the first participation was in the third edition in 1974, they won two titles in 2009 and 2017, while they finished runner-up twice as well, in 2004 and 2007. They played 104 matches with 19 wins, 58 losses, 27 draws and scored 81 goals.
The Omani team beat Bahrain 3-2 in 2004 in Qatar, 1-0 in 2007 in the UAE and 1-0 in this edition. The Omani team has not lost against Bahrain in the last seven matches.
The Croatian coach of Oman national team, Branko Ivankovic, expressed his great happiness at defeating the title holders in the last edition to make a final against hosts Iraq.
Ivankovic praised the performance of the players and their high concentration throughout the match.
Branko said in the post-match press conference, “I am very proud of the players. I would like to thank the fans who supported us throughout the tournament, whether they were Omanis or Iraqis.”
“Our players have absorbed our thinking and we play in a modern style in order to achieve victories and we are happy that we scored the winning goal at the right time, which allowed us to qualify for the final match,” he added.
“We played our matches in a difficult group and managed to reach the semifinals, before we beat the defending champions and qualified to the final round. I am proud of the players’ performance,” he concluded.
Jamil al Yahmadi, the star of the match, expressed his overwhelming happiness that the Red Warriors qualified for the 25th Gulf Final in Basra.
“I congratulate Oman national team for entering the final match of the tournament. I dedicate the victory to my fellow players and the technical and administrative staff of the national team, and to the loyal fans in the stadium or those who followed us from behind the screens.”
Oman team is looking for the third title at the final match with Iraq at the Basra International Stadium on Thursday at 8 pm (Oman Time). Iraq are aiming to add a fourth title after winning in 1979, 1984 and 1988 editions.