Oman takes on Yemen ahead of India test

Oman striker Abdulaziz al Miqbali (centre) and defender Mohammed al Mussalami (right) at a training session

With just over a week left for Oman to kick-start its journey in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Qualifiers, the Red Warriors will take on lowly Yemen in an international friendly at the Seeb Sports Stadium on Wednesday. The match kicks-off at 7.30pm.

The team, which regrouped for a domestic camp on Sunday following its European tour that concluded in the first week of August, under Dutch coach Erwin Koeman, will hope for a morale-boosting win ahead of its opening qualifier against hosts India on September 5.

Oman travels to the north-eastern Indian city of Guwahati for its away Group E game.

The team is scheduled to travel to India on September 2.

Besides Oman and India, Group E comprises hosts and Asian Cup winner Qatar, Afghanistan and Bangladesh and the teams will battle it our from September 5-June 9, 2020, with the winner of the group advancing along with the four-best runner-up teams in among the eight groups of five teams each.

In case Qatar wins Group E, the other seven group winners and five best runners-up will progress to the next stage.

India is likely to provide the biggest challenge to Oman in the group where Qatar is the favourite to take the top spot.

Oman is ranked 87th in the latest FIFA rankings while India is 103rd but an away game is likely to provide a stiff test for the Red Warriors.

The friendly against 142nd-ranked Yemen will be the last warm-up match for Oman but team officials are confident that the camp in Germany last month provided a good exposure and experience.

Coach Koeman also got a good look at his players during the camp where fitness was his main focus.

Earlier, last week, the Dutchman had called up 26 probables for the camp. Among the noticeable absentee was former captain and experienced goalkeeper Ali al Habsi.

Meanwhile, an injury to goalkeeper Ahmed Faraj has forced the coach to call up Mazin al Kasbi on Tuesday.

Probables: Faiz al Rusheidi, Mohammed al Mussalami, Ali al Busaidy, Ahmed al Kaabi, Mazin al Kasbi, Ibrahim al Mukhaini, Khalid al Breiki, Saad Suhail,

Abdulaziz al Ghailani, Moataz Saleh, Al Mundhir al Alawi, Salah al Yahyai, Mohammed al Hosni, Yaseen al Shiyadi, Imran al Hadi, Nadir Awadh, Mohammed Faraj, Harib al Saadi, Raed Ibrahim, Arshad al Alawi, Mohsen Jawhar al Khaldi, Ahmed Mubarak ‘Kanu’, Mohsin al Ghassani, Mohammed al Ghafri, Abdulaziz al Miqbali, and Mohammed al Ghassani.

muscat daily recycle