Kanu’s calming presence lifted Oman’s spirits

Muscat, Jan 6 – Ahmed Mubarak al Mahajiri or as he is widely known Ahmed Kanu must be over the moon as he enjoys the glory of Oman’s second Arabian Gulf Cup crown which is his second as well. Kanu would certainly be missing the presence of his illustrious team-mate and Oman’s legendary goalkeeper Ali al Habsi since both of them made their national team debuts together in 2003. The 32-year-old veteran has 152 appearances for the ‘Red Warriors’ and is one of the pillars of the Oman team along with the likes of Ali al Habsi and Abdulaziz al Muqbali.

Kanu, who has stood in as captain in the absence of Ali al Habsi, has been a picture of calmness and composure in pressure-cooker situations and led Oman ably during their victorious march to their second Arabian Gulf Cup title. Kanu, who doubles up as defensive and holding midfielder, kept the spirits of the Oman team up and running during the course of the tournament and played the role of the senior statesman perfectly. The relatively younger and less experienced players including the goal-keeper Fayez al Rushaidi and Co certainly benefited from the reassuring presence of Kanu. Oman will consider themselves lucky that Kanu showed the temperament and resilience that was required of them to become champions.

Haridev Pushparaj