Abdulaziz al Maqbali and Mohsin al Ghassani goals steered Oman to register their second consecutive win against Afghanistan 3-0 in the Fifa World Cup 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023 Joint Qualification at the Seeb Sports Stadium on Thursday.
“Red Warriors” added an excitement flavour to the spectator’s weekend as the Seeb stadium was full of Omani fans who thronged the stadium for the big game.
Hundreds of fans crowded outside the stadium where they waited a lot to get space and support the national team but they could not get in without tickets.
Oman’s fans broke all the predictions as they registered a full house attendance in this match. The top officials attending the match was headed by HH Sayyid Shihab bin Tareq al Said, chairman of Seeb club, Sayyid Khalid bin al Busaidi, Oman Olympic Committee (OOC), Shaikh Salim al Wahibi, chairman of OFA and officials.
In the same Group E, Qatar registered a narrow win against Bangladesh 2-0 at the latter’s home in Dhaka city. Qatar is topping the group with seven points as they have played three matches while the Sultanate team were positioned second with full marks from two games.
The national team players delivered a top technical performance in the first half of the match as they managed to score two goals through Abdulaziz al Muqbali.
The guests tried very well to register a strong comeback in the second half through doing some substitutions but that could not enough as national team defence were very tough for Afghan strikers. On the other hand, Koeman did some substitutions as Al Mundher al Alawi replaced by Mohammed al Ghafri and Mohsin Jawher entered in place of Mohsin al Ghasani.
Suwaiq player Al Ghassani scored the third goal prior to leaving the game by 15 minutes in a penalty shootout and his team-mate Jawher completed the rest of the match.
Erwin Koeman’s boys are on the right track as they have kept a clean slate from two games. The upcoming match against Qatar will clearly identify the leaders of the group. Oman team will travel to Doha on Saturday to take on Qatar team on Tuesday. The match will kick off at 8:30 pm (Oman timing) while India will face off with Bangladesh in another match. The Afghanistan team will rest for this round.
Erwin Koeman, the head coach of the Sultanate team, stated that scoring three goals and capturing the winning points at home is great. “It was not an easy match but we managed to score the victory and that is the main target. I did not have a special press button to increase the Oman team goals. It is not my target to score many goals but my focus is to gain many points in all the matches,” coach said in the post match press conference.
“Many of the national team players are exhausted and we have to pay special attention on the fitness and physical side. Now, we have to prepare very well for the upcoming match against Qatar. We will travel to Qatar on Saturday and I begin the training sessions with the players who did not play in Afghanistan match,” the Dutchman added.
“A dedicated thanks to all the players for their positive contribution in the match. I am satisfied well for the technical performance of my players and looking forward to better performance in the forthcoming rounds of qualification. I believe all the fans paying attention to Qatar match which I have to work very hard to score the winning goal.” Koeman concluded.