Sultanate meet Iran in final Group A match to decide group winners –
Bishkek: Oman set up an enticing finale to Group A of the AFC U-23 Championship Qualifiers after beating Kyrgyz Republic 5-1 at the Dolen Omurzakov Stadium in Bishkek on Friday.
The win saw Oman surge to the top of the standings on better goal difference but they face the Islamic Republic of Iran in the final match on Sunday to decide the group winners.
However, Oman didn’t have it easy against Kyrgyz Republic, as they failed to convert their dominance into goals in the first half.
In fact, the hosts took the lead in first half stoppage time through striker Odil Abdurahmanov who scored off a pass from Abai Bokoleev.
A stung Oman came charging in the second half and drew level in the 61st minute when Muhsen al Ghassani headed home.
It was all Oman after that but they had to wait till the 81st minute before taking the lead, courtesy of Abdullah al Aghbari scoring from the penalty spot.
Two minutes later, Al Ghassani scored his second, Jameel al Yahmadi added the fourth just a minute later and Al Ghassani wrapped up proceedings for Oman when he completed his hat-trick in stoppage time.
IR Iran had beaten Kyrgyz Republic 2-1 on Matchday 1.
Oman head coach Hamed Khalifa al Azzani to the AFC website: “The performance of our team was terrible in the first half. In the second half, we gathered and scored as many goals as was needed. Thanks guys! We are very pleased. Even though we would be satisfied with a draw in the match with Iran, we will play only to win.”
Kyrgyz Republic head coach Valerii Berezovskii said: “The explanation is simple and clear. We could not fully recover after the hard game with Iran. Unfortunately, our force lasted only for 65 minutes. We were not lucky with a lot and played two games in a row. The only positive note would be the fact that we followed the gameplan.”