The national team of Oman has qualified for the group stage of the 2021 FIFA Arab Cup after seeing off Somalia in the preliminary stage on Sunday evening.
Coach Branko Vankovic’s team won the match 2-1 at the Jassim Bin Hammd Stadium in Qatar.
The game kicked off with Somalia showing good possession before the Oman team attacked and scored after 11 minutes. Somalia’s goalkeeper Mustaf Maxamed Yuusuf punched Abdul Al Muqbali’s shot back into play before Mohsen Al-Ghasani finished it off with a well taken rebound.
After 36 minutes Somalia’s goalkeeper pulled down Muhsen Al Ghassani before the referee awarded a penalty. Salaah Al Yahyaei made no mistake from the spot sending goalkeeper Yuusuf in the opposite direction.
Ali Mohammed should have pulled one back for the Somali team after 43 minutes when he found himself in the box, but instead opted to pass the ball when shooting at goal looked the easier choice.
In the second half the Somali team returned determined and pushed forward looking for goals. After 54 minutes Abel Gigli pulled one back for Somalia with a well headed goal.
But the Somali goalkeeper was kept busy in the remaining quarter of the match as Oman held on to win and qualify for the group stage of the competition.
Oman now join hosts Qatar, Iraq an winner between Bahrain and Kuwait in Group A ahead of the final tournament slated for November 30th to December 18th.
“We tried to fight back especially in the second half but failed to take our chances,” said Somalia’s stand-in coach Hassan Salad.
Last week the Somalia Football Federation (SFF) sacked the head coach Abdellatif Salef just three weeks after hiring him.
Another team from the Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA) South Sudan is meant to face Jordan on Monday. However, nine players of the South Sudan team are isolated after they tested positive for COVID-19.
On Saturday the Falcons of Sudan ejected Libya 1-0 in the opening match of the preliminary round of the 2021 FIFA Arab Cup.
Andrew Jackson ORYADA Snr