Oman take on Maldives in AFC U-16 qualifiers

MUSCAT, sept 19 – The Oman under-16 football team will begin their campaign in the AFC U-16 Championship 2018 first-round qualifiers in Tajikistan with a match against Maldives on Wednesday.
The Oman colts will take on Maldives at the Hisor Central Stadium in Hisor at 7 pm (Oman Time). In a later match at the same venue, hosts Tajikistan will meet Syria.
Oman are placed in the Group B of the qualifiers along with the hosts Tajikistan, Syria and Maldives. Turkmenistan, the fifth team in the group, withdrew from the competition.
Oman coach Yacoub Sabahi said the team is confident of a win against Maldives.
“Our players are ready for the qualifiers. I told the boys not to rush things as we are not familiar with the game of Maldives. This team is capable of qualifying to the next level,” Sabahi said.
Abdul Hakim bin Jassim al Awaisi, one of the player, said the team is looking for full three points against Maldives. “We are satisfied with our preparations and we hope to achieve our goals in the qualifying and reach the finals,” Al Awaisi added.
Oman’s next match will be against Syria on September 22.
In their preparation for the qualifiers, Oman met defending champions Iraq in two friendlies. Iraq won 3-0 and 1-0.
Oman had reached the finals in the last edition in Goa, India. The Omani challenge ended in the second round after they lost to North Korea.
Iraq, have been grouped with India, Palestine and Nepal who will host the qualifiers in Group D, while the Islamic Republic of Iran — last year’s runners-up — are scheduled to meet Kyrgyz Republic, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Bhutan in Group C.
Elsewhere, two-time champions and 2016 semifinalists DPR Korea, will face Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei, Macau and Brunei Darussalam in Group F, with Japan, who also reached last year’s semifinals drawn in Group J, along with Singapore, Malaysia and Guam.
The 10 group winners and five best second-placed teams will advance to the final stage of the tournament, along with the host Member Association. The AFC U-16 Championship 2018 qualifiers are set to take place from September 16 to 24, 2017.
The Omani delegation consists of Shaikh Sultan bin Hilal al Hosani, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Team, Ahmed bin Saud al Sabahi, Hilal bin Ali al Aufi as assistant coach, Khalid bin Abbas al Yarubi as manager and Zahir bin Sulaiman al Qamshwei (goalkeeper trainer). Mohammed bin Abdullah al Harthi, a specialist for treatment, Andriy Andrykov Medalka, Hamdan bin Rashid al Maani, media coordinator and Murad bin Ali al Muqbali, in charge of the missions are among the other members.
The 23-player Oman squad: Qusay bin Salim bin Khamis al Jaradi, Maitham bin Ali bin Salem al Ajmi, Al Khaleel bin Ahmed al Hosni, Malham bin Yusuf bin Rabei al Sunaidi, Issa bin Khalfan bin Abdullah al Naabi, Mohammed bin Rashid bin Jumaa al Balushi, Muntasir bin Talib bin Muhammad al Zadjali, Abdul Hakim bin Jassim al Awaisi, Tarek bin Khamis bin Saeed al Mashari, Wael bin Sulaiman bin Khamis al Harthi, Hamad bin Walid bin Khamis al Mukhaini and Harib bin Khamis al Adawi, Al Azhar bin Hamza bin Abdul Rahim al Balushi, Dawood bin Suleiman bin Saeed al Jabri, Omar bin Nasser bin Rajab al Sulti, Usama bin Suleiman bin Saif al Hadabi, Fahd bin Saeed bin Suwaid al Rasbi, Nasser bin Abdullah bin Mohammed al Naabi, Hamza bin Ahmed bin Saeed al Rawahi, Rashad bin Musallam bin Rashid al Habsi, AbdulRahman bin Khalifa al Shiyadi, Abdullah bin Mohammed al Felaiti and Ali bin Hamad bin Mohammed al Dhahiri.