Oman advanced to the next round of qualifying for the 2014 World
Cup after beating 10-man Thailand 2-0 on Wednesday.
With the win, Oman finished second in Group D behind Australia.
The Gulf team overtook Saudi Arabia, which may have gone through
with a draw or even a loss had Oman not won. Instead, Oman got the
win and Saudi Arabia was beaten by Australia 4-2.
Oman dominated the match played in the midday heat.Midfielder
Hussain al-Hadhri gave Oman the lead in the 10th minute. Thailand
was reduced to 10 men when substitute Winothia Teeratep was sent
off in the 85th minute for dangerous play.
Oman took advantage and doubled its lead when midfielder Adbul
al-Muqbali scored in the 90th.
It was only Oman’s second victory in qualifying.
”I am very proud of the team as we did not have the best start
in the third round,” Oman coach Paul Le Guen said. ”But we came
back strongly after our away defeats to Thailand and Australia. It
shows the team’s character and we deserved to win today.”
The win set off wild celebrations across the Omani capital of
Muscat, with crowds cheering and waving the national flag.
”It is a victory dedicated to the fans,” captain Ali Al Habsi
said. ”We played a good match and I am proud of my
Lineups: Oman: Ali al-Habsi, Mohammed Abdullah Sheeba, Hussain
al-Hadhri (Juma Darwish, 72), Abdulaziz Miqbali, Fauzi Basheer,
Saad Suhail, Ahmed Mubarak Kanu, Abdulsalam Amur, Hussain
Mudhaffar, Imad al-Hosni (Ismail al-Ajmi, 68), Ahmed Hadeed.