Oman hope for full points against Iraq
Tue, 12 June 2012
DOHA — Coach Paul le Guen has backed Oman to overcome a long injury list and pick up a first win of the final round of qualifying for the 2014 Fifa World Cup against Iraq here today. The match is scheduled to kick off at 6.45 pm Oman time. Oman bounced back from being outplayed in their Group ‘B’ opener by a rampant Japan to share a goalless draw at home with Australia on Friday, with Le Guen’s side unlucky not to pick up all three points in Muscat.
And despite Oman making the short trip to Doha without the likes of midfielder Ahmed Hadid, defender Hassan Mudhafar and striker Hassan Rabee’a, Le Guen has backed his side to build on Sunday’s much-improved display. “The match against Iraq is important for the two teams. We are looking forward to playing well and getting a good result,” said Le Guen, with Oman next in qualifying action at home to Jordan in October.
“We were disappointed with the result against Japan but I’m happy with our performance against Australia,” said the Frenchman. “We will be missing some key players, but we have good players who can fill in the gaps. “I hope that we can translate the chances that we will have in the match into getting a positive result.” Iraq also currently sit with one point in Group ‘B’, although Zico’s side have only played one game having shared a 1-1 draw with Jordan in Amman at the start of June.
Against Jordan, Iraq had taken a 14th minute lead through Nashat Akram only for an error from goalkeeper Mohammed Kassid handing Ahmad Hayel the chance to equalise at Amman International Stadium. But while Oman returned from their long trip to Japan to face Australia in sweltering heat in Muscat on Friday, Iraq have had over a week to prepare for today’s meeting at Al Arabi Stadium in the Qatari capital and will look pick up a first three points of the campaign ahead of September’s trip to Japan.
“The playersare ready for the match and we are looking forward to getting three points in order to strengthen our chances to go through from the group especially because the results in the second round were in our favour,” said Zico, who played at the 1978, 1982 and 1986 Fifa World Cup finals. “The match will be good for the both teams and we are happy that our list is complete as we don’t have any injured players and all the players are concentrating on getting three important points.”
Oman team: Ali al Habsi; Abdulsalam Amur, Mohammed Sheiba al Balushi, Mohammed al Musalmi, Sa’ad Suhail, Ahmed Mubarak ‘Kanu’, Juma Darwish, Ra’ed Ibrahim, Ismail al Ajmi, Eid al Farsi and Imaad al Hosni.
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