Muscat: Oman head coach Pim Verbeek has called it quits after making history with the Red Warriors in the recently concluded Asian Cup 2019 in the UAE. The much-experienced coach had guided Oman to the knockout stage of the Asian Cup for the first time in the Sultanate’s history.
The Oman Football Association (OFA) on Wednesday accepted the Dutchman’s request to relieve him from coaching duties for personal reasons. Verbeek in his statement to the OFA said he was
ending his 30 years of coaching career and thanked OFA, national team players and Omani fans for their support during his two-year tenure. Assistant coach Muhanna Said al Adawi will take charge of the national team until the appointment of a new coach.
Oman under the guidance of Verbeek made an impressive outing in Asian Cup 2019, won by Qatar. After losing closely against Uzbekistan (2-1) and Japan (1-0), the Verbeek-coached team hrashed Turkmenistan 3-1 to qualify to the last 16 of the continental tournament. Though Oman’s campaign ended with a 2-0 defeat against semifinalists Iran, the team under the Dutch coach
has defied all odds and impressed many experts.
At the Asian Cup, the rival team coaches revered Verbeek. “Oman have a great coach in Verbeek. We have full respect for the team and its coach,” said Uzbekistan head coach Hector Cuper. Coach Hajime Moriyasu of final lists Japan also had the same opinion. “Oman are quite good opponents for us with their coach Verbeek capable of taking the team to new level. We are aware of
that,” Moriyasu told in Abu Dhabi, ahead of their preliminary round match against Oman.
Pim Verbeek took charge of the Oman national football team at a time when Oman were languishing no where near their past glory of winning Arabian Gulf Cup at home in 2009. The former coach of Australia and South Korea is now finishing his Oman job after fulfilling the objectives he and the Oman Football Association (OFA) had set for the national team. By winning the second
Arabian Gulf Cup title in 2018, Verbeek instilled a new belief among the football fans of the Sultanate. Ahead of the Gulf Cup in Kuwait, a majority of the fans never considered Oman as competent for the title.
But working silently with determination, Verbeek proved the pundits wrong with his bunch of youngsters. Led by a hard-working captain Ahmed Mubarak ‘Kanu’, Oman unveiled many young talents in the regional tournament to stun their high-profile opponents. Goalkeeper Fayez al Rushaidi’s exploits in Kuwait earned him the quality to succeed the legendary Ali al Habsi. Many of the players were noted by the regional clubs and Omantel League also took notice for its presence of talented young footballers.
Having the tag of Gulf Cup winners, coach Verbeek took special attention to lift Oman’s game in the continental showpiece in the UAE. “Our 23-member squad consists of players who are capable of showing an impressive performance for the team. Anyone from the squad can make it to the final eleven,” Verbeek told Oman Observer in Sharjah during the Asian Cup. His confidence was visible when substitutes Muhsin al Ghassani and Mohammed al Ghassani nearly threatened for an upset win against heavyweights Japan.
The tactician coach had a game plan against the topclass opponents at the AFC tournament.