Oman coach Erwin Koeman said the ‘Red Warriors’ had a challenging game against Asian champions Qatar in their 2-1 defeat at the Al Janoub Stadium in Doha late on Tuesday.
Asian Cup 2019 top-scorer Almoez Ali netted the all-important winner for the hosts to snatch three crucial points in the fourth round of the Group E match for the joint qualification of Fifa World Cup 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023.
This was Oman’s first defeat in the qualifiers after winning against India and Afghanistan.
Coach Koeman however said the players delivered a spirited performance against the higher ranked opponents.
The Dutchman said he didn’t expect the team to concede an early goal.
“I did not expect to concede an early goal. However, we had many scoring chances to equalise in the first half itself but we could not make use of it.”
Koeman agreed that if Qatar captain Hasan Haydous had converted the penalty it would have been difficult for the Sultanate team.
“If Qatar had taken a 2-0 lead from the penalty shot, the match situation would have been tougher for Oman,” the coach from Netherlands added.
The Oman head coach said Qatari players were clinical in their approach.
“Qatar players were very professional. They consistently reached our penalty are through different moves and succeeded to convert the chances into two goals. We could have salvaged a draw and earned a point but Qatar player’s technical skills were superior to our players during the match,” Koeman said.
After the win, Qatar have 10 points from four matches as the Felix Sanchez-coached team is getting closer to secure a slot in the AFC Asian Cup 2023 in China. Oman have six points from their three matches.
Oman will next play matches at home in November. On November 19, the Sultanate team will host Bangladesh at Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex. Five days later, the Red Warriors will take on India at the same venue.