Refereeing errors cost Oman dear

Muscat, jan 14 – Oman would certainly feel hard done after their gallant effort against one of Asia’s best teams, Japan, came a cropper after some dubious refereeing by Malaysia’s Mohammad Amirul Izwan.
Although, Oman are still very much in contention to progress to the Round of 16 stage with a match to go against Turkmenistan on Thursday, they would undoubtedly feel let down by the refereeing.
The scoreline of 1-0 for Japan which could have effectively been 1-0 in Oman’s favour if the Malaysian referee had been fair in handing out the decisions.
The 28th minute penalty converted by Japan’s Genki Haraguchi was tough on Oman and would have dealt a psychological blow to them in such a high-pressure situation.
Replays clearly indicated the lack of a substantial contact by Raed Salah in his attempt to thwart Haraguchi inside the penalty area, that eventually led to the penalty being awarded.
From the Omani point of view, that moment helped Japan get a foothold into the game with the lead in their hand.
Though one would have expected Japan to run riot thereafter with a flurry of goals, the ‘Red Warriors’ showed their true warrior spirit in stopping Japan in their tracks.
As Oman kept foraying into the Japan defence and showed glimpses of conjuring up a goal, came perhaps the most significant moment of the match. In the dying moments of the first half, Salah al Yahyaei’s shot clearly brushed past the hand of Japan’s Yuto Nagatomo.
With the Oman players wildly gesticulating for a much-needed penalty, referee Izwan was in no mood to budge and asked them to play on. Had the penalty been awarded and Oman scored, the match may have had a different result and who knows in Oman’s favour perhaps.
Poor refereeing costing teams in big games has been a worrying trend for a while now in football and Oman has been the latest recipient.
With a huge game against Turkmenistan coming up on Thursday, Oman will have to put behind the disappointment and focus on putting their best foot forward.