Oman national Olympic (under-23) team commenced their campaign in the International U23 Friendly Championship which is under way in Doha, Qatar with a 3-0 defeat against South Korea at Al Gharafa Stadium on Wednesday.
Korea’s J Eom scored the opening goal in the eighth minute through a header. Later, Sin Jin Kim doubled the result in the 33rd minute to end the first half with a 2-0 lead for South Korea.
In the second half, Jae Jun An confirmed the first victory for the South Korea team as he netted the third goal in the 76th minute.
Oman team, coached by national head coach Akram Habreesh, is taking part in this international friendly tournament as part of the team’s preparation for the U23 Asian Cup qualifiers which will take place in September.
The U23 Asian Cup finals, which will be held in Doha, will act as qualifiers for the 2024 Paris Olympics. Besides this key Asian event, the national Olympic team boys will aim from this tourney to prepare and shape their readiness for Asian Games in China which will take place from September 23 to October 8.
The six days tournament features participation of ten teams including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, UAE, Thailand, Kyrgyzstan, South Korea, Vietnam, Oman and hosts Qatar. The matches will be played in different venues in Qatar and the tournament will conclude on Tuesday. In the international friendly event, each team will have two matches in the first and second rounds which will witness five matches. Based on the results from the first and second rounds, positions will be determined from first place to tenth spot while the third and final round meetings will determine the final positions.
Oman’s head coach Akram Habreesh affirmed in the opening press conference that the team is taking part in this international friendly tournament with a target of playing against different styles.
“It is a great opportunity for the team to play many matches with different footballing schools ahead of the upcoming Asian qualifying stage. We will utilise this participation and will evaluate our squad,” he said.
“Through this event, we will try to shape many top players to join the national senior team in the near future as part of Oman Football Association (OFA)’s vision,” he added.
Oman will take on Kyrgyzstan on Saturday in the second round matches. The team will target to register their first victory in the tournament and to secure a top place in the event.