Oman books ticket for China
Oman was at its dominating best as it defeated Iran 2-0 in their final Group A qualifying match at the Dolen Omurzakov Stadium in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic, to march into the AFC U23 Championship in China next year.
Hamad al Azzani's men needed just a draw to seal their spot in the finals but finished their campaign in style as Group A winner. Oman had routed the hosts 5-1 in their opener on Friday and led the group on better goal-difference ahead of its clash against Iran.
Iran had begun its campaign on Wednesday with a 2-1 win over Kyrgyz Republic.
On Sunday, Oman's Jameel al Yahmadi broke the deadlock in the 48th minute and Mohsen al Ghassani added the second in 70th minute to seal the team's comfortable victory against Iran.
Later Azzani said, “My team showed incredible dedication and the will to win. I thank my players for a fantastic game and result. We are very happy. I think that the main reason for our win in the group was excellent preparation and we will continue to work hard for the future.”
Oman joins Australia, South Korea, North Korea, Uzbekistan and Malaysia in the finals.
The ten group winners directly qualify for the finals while the five best runners-up across all groups will also advance. However, if China win its group or is among the best five runners-up, the sixth best runner-up will also qualify.
Hamad al Azzani, Oman coach