Oman looks to conclude Asian Cup qualifiers on winning note| MENAFN.COM

Friday, 01 July 2022 02:20 GMT

Oman looks to conclude Asian Cup qualifiers on winning note

(MENAFN- Muscat Daily) Oman coach Paul Le Guen is not satisfied with how his team played in the last couple of matches in the 2015 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers and wants his players to produce a commanding display in the concluding Group A game against Singapore at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex on Wednesday.

The match will begin at 5.30pm.

''We reached the finals of the tournament without losing a single game, but our last two matches were not up to the standards the boys usually display,'' Le Guen. ''We should take this opportunity to come back strong, score goals and finish on top of the group.''

Oman leads Group A with 11 points from five matches and has already qualified for the 2015 tournament in Australia. It is followed by Jordan on No 2 with nine points from five games. Syria and Singapore have four and three points, respectively, from five matches each. In its last two qualifiers, Oman struggled to a 1-0 win against Syria in Tehran and was then held to a 0-0 home draw by Jordan.

Ali al Habsi, Oman's skipper and its No 1 goalkeeper who is making a comeback to the national side after a year's absence due to injury, praised his teammates. ''I am proud of the way the boys played through all the qualifiers. We are the only team not to have conceded a single goal over the course of the tournament. Faiz al Rusheidi has been doing a tremendous job [as keeper],'' said Habsi.

The Oman team has been plagued by injuries of late, and Wednesday's match will see several new players get a chance, according to Le Guen.

For Singapore coach Bernd Stange, who earlier coached Oman in 2001, the development of Omani football over the past few years has been 'unbelievable'. ''I can speak only about how it has changed over the past 12 years. The football played during my tenure [as Oman coach] was amateur, but now I see big improvements,'' Stange said. ''I believe in the last two or three years, the Oman team has taken to an exciting style of play. It is good to see the team reaching close to the standards of some of the top teams in the world.''

The Singapore coach congratulated Oman for having already qualified for the Asian Cup f

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