Al Habsi, Raed, Al Muqbali back in Oman team ahead of Jor­dan friendly

Oman will be play­ing the Jor­dan friendly, sched­uled for Oc­to­ber 4 in Dubai, as part of the prepa­ra­tions for their next Asian Cup away qual­i­fier against Mal­dives

Times of Oman - - SPORTS -

MUSCAT: Tal­is­manic cus­to­dian Ali Al Habsi as well as mer­cu­rial mid­fielder Raed Ibrahim and star striker Ab­du­laziz Al Muqbali re­turn to Oman team as Pim Ver­beek named a 26-mem­ber Sul­tanate squad ahead of their friendly match against Jor­dan.

Oman will be play­ing the Jor­dan friendly, sched­uled for Oc­to­ber 4 in Dubai, as part of the prepa­ra­tions for their next Asian Cup away qual­i­fier against Mal­dives on Oc­to­ber 10.

While leg­end Ali Al Habsi, who now plays for Saudi Ara­bia’s Al Hi­lal, had re­quested not be in­cluded in Oman’s pre­vi­ous match against Mal­dives, Ver­beek had not picked Raed Ibrahim and star striker Ab­du­laziz Al Muqbali for the same game, which Oman went on to win by a 5-0 mar­gin at home.

All three star play­ers are now in­cluded in the list of 26 play­ers an­nounced by Ver­beek on Wed­nes­day.

Also mak­ing a re­turn to the team after a hia­tus is at­tack­ing mid­fielder Mo­hammed Ali Al Siyabi.

Speak­ing about Al Shabab star player, whose ex­cel­lent per­for­mances have been high­lighted by two goals in four-week old Oman­tel League, Ver­beek said: “Mo­hammed Ali Al Siyabi has been very im­pres­sive so far this sea­son. He has forced his way into the team with his per­for­mances.”

Salah out with in­jury

The Dutch­man, mean­while, ex­pressed dis­ap­point­ment over non­in­clu­sion of striker Salah Said Al Yahyaei ow­ing to an in­jury.

“Salah is in­jured. He needs at least four weeks to re­cover. It is very dis­ap­point­ing. He is a very im­por­tant player for us. The team will miss him,” Ver­beek said of the player who scored one of Oman’s five unan­swered goals in their cru­cial Group D qual­i­fier against Mal­dives early this month.

Also miss­ing from the list is for­ward Said Al Ruza­iqi, another player out with an in­jury.

“Said Al Ruza­iqi is has shown good level of foot­ball in the re­cent times. I hope he re­cov­ers at the ear­li­est and re­turns to the team,” Ver­beek said.

After the Jor­dan friendly, the team will be pruned to 23 play­ers be­fore they travel to Mal­dives for the Asian Cup qual­i­fier.

“Jor­dan match will help us as- sess the play­ers and see the readi­ness of the team as a whole. The Mal­dives match is not go­ing to be easy as we will be play­ing away in Mali,” he said.

Oman, with six points from three matches, are cur­rently in sec­ond place in Group D be­hind Pales­tine who have col­lected a max­i­mum of nine points from three out­ings.

After Mal­dives match, Oman play another away match against Bhutan on Novem­ber 14 be­fore com­plet­ing their group en­gage­ments at home with a match against Pales­tine on March 27 in 2018. The top two teams from the group qual­ify for the Asian Cup to be hosted in the UAE in 2019.

Two goals

Pim Ver­beek, mean­while, said the hec­tic do­mes­tic league sched­ule is af­fect­ing the play­ers.

“There is a game very three days. Its very hec­tic. Such sched­ul­ing takes a toll on the play­ers, their fit­ness and their per­for­mances.

“Ul­ti­mately it af­fects the club and the na­tional team as well. Even the league will suf­fer,” he added.

Speak­ing about his plans for the team, he said: “When I signed my con­tract with Oman Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion, I had two goals: to lead the team to the fi­nals of 2019 Asian Cup in the UAE and to help the team reach ad­vanced placed in the Gulf Cup. I am cur­rently work­ing on these two goals and the rest will come later,” he said.

Asked about the Gulf Cup draw, which saw Oman placed in Group B along with Saudi Ara­bia and the UAE, he said: “It is great to play with the two best teams of the Gulf re­gion and we have seen how they per­formed in the 2018 World Cup qual­i­fiers. We are look­ing for­ward to play them in the Gulf Cup.”

TOO HETCTIC: Oman’s Dutch coach Pim Ver­beek, while an­nounc­ing the team for Jor­dan friendly, ex­pressed his dis­plea­sure at the hec­tic sched­ule of Oman­tel League matches.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Oman

© PressReader. All rights reserved.