Win to boost Red Warriors’ chances to top group
Oman lock horns with Qatar today
Jun 06, 2021
Oman national football team will take on Qatar on Monday in a top Gulf clash in Group E of the joint qualifier of Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023. The match will kick off at the Jassim bin Hamed Stadium in Doha at 9:10 pm (Oman time).
Qatar won the first leg match 2-1 at Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah in October 2019.
Coach Branko Ivankovic’s men will target to reach their tally to 15 points and raise the chances to seal a direct spot in the third round of the joint qualifier and to book a direct ticket to the 2023 AFC Asian Cup China. Only a win will revive Oman’s chances to compete for first place in the group order.
On the other hand, the opponent Gulf country will depend on Monday’s match to capture the winning points to confirm Qatar’s presence in AFC Asian Cup in China in 2023 and to focus more on the long-way warm-up programme for Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022. This is the concluding match for the hosts in the joint qualifier and definitely coach Felix Sanchez’s men will be looking forward to claiming the top spot in the group.
QATAR BEAT INDIA
Table-toppers Qatar beat India 1-0 on Thursday to reach 19 points. Abdel Aziz netted the solitary goal of the match against a 10-man India.
India are fourth in the group with three points from six matches while Asian champions Qatar lead the table with 19 points from seven games and Oman are second with 12 points from five matches.
Afghanistan are third with five points and Bangladesh are last with two points.
Red Warriors are set for the top fixture against the hosts Qatar after completion of three overseas camps in Dubai and a short camp in Doha during the last two months. The Sultanate team had two preparatory games during the third camp in Dubai. Oman beat Thailand 1-0 in the initial friendly game while Red Warriors’ defeated Indonesia 3-1 in the second warm-up match.
Ivankovic seems comfortable with the starting line-up of the last two friendly games against Indonesia and Thailand.
The 67-year-old may start with the experienced Abdulaziz al Maqbali in the forward line-up with Mohsin al Ghassani with assistance from Zaher al Aghbari and Salah al Yahyaei.
The Croatian coach pointed out that Mohammed al Musallami was injured but he will return soon. “There are few injuries in the team. Mohsin al Ghassani is not in the right fitness level after recovery from the injury. However, all of them are available in the squad in Doha and will see how to utilise them,” he said in Doha on Sunday.
Oman’s goalkeeper Fayez al Rushaidi said the team will work hard to continue in the qualifying stages. “Reaching to the later stages in the qualifying is our target currently. Today’s match is a tough assignment and we are set for this difficult fixture,” he added.
Mohammed al Musallami will not take part in the match due to injury while Al Munther al Alawi, who had returned after an injury, will be on the bench.
Qatar coach Sancez said Oman are totally different from the first-leg match.“Oman have young talented faces with a new head coach. Players have good technical experience. The assignment will be different than before but we are looking forward to registering a win,” he added.
Oman are aiming for their third presence in the final round of the joint qualifiers as they had qualified in 2002 and 2014.