Oman upsets Tunisia in friendly
Midfielder Ahmed Mubarak converted two penalties to give Oman a
surprise 2-1 victory over Tunisia in a friendly at the Seeb Sports
Stadium on Tuesday.
The first penalty was awarded in the 10th minute after Oman
striker Emad al Hosni was brought down by Tunisia’s Khaled Korbi,
with Saudi Arabian referee Khalil Jalal pointing to the spot.
Tunisia, the 2004 African Cup of Nations winner, grabbed an
equalizer when Oman goalkeeper Ali al Habsi failed to hold a shot
from Fahid Ben Khalfallah and Sami Allagu pounced on the loose ball
Mubarak converted the winner from the spot in the 85th minute
after Tunisia captain Karim Haggui brought down substitute Hassan
Oman, ranked 110th compared to Tunisia’s 45 and playing under
caretaker coach Hamad al Azzani since the departure of Frenchman
Claude Le Roy in January, staved off a determined late rally to
earn a first win since beating Gabon in Oct. 2010.
It was the first friendly for Tunisia since the North African
nation ended President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s 24-year rule
following a popular uprising.
The defeat was also the first for coach Sami Trabelsi since he
took over in late 2010. Prior to Tuesday’s friendly, he had led the
team to six victories and drawn four.
”It was a tough match for us. The boys did commit a few
mistakes in the midfield and defence that cost us. The team cannot
afford to make such mistakes,” Trabelsi said.
Tunisia’s lineup had six professionals playing in Europe, while
Oman had only one, Wigan goalkeeper Al Habsi.
The defeat is also a jolt to Tunisia’s preparations for its
upcoming 2012 African Cup of Nations qualifiers against Chad and
Malawi. Tunisia is currently second in Group K.
Oman: Ali al Habsi, Abdulrehman Saleh, Mohammed Sheeba (Nasser
al Shimli, 80), Saad Suhail, Ahmed Mubarak ‘Kanu’, Ismail al Ajmi
(Eid al Farsi, 69) , Hassan Mudhaffar, Fauzi Bashir, Ahmed Hadeed
(Mansoor al Nuaimi, 69), Emad al Hosni (Hassan Rabee’a, 76), Qasim
Said (Juma Darwish, 80).
Tunisia: Rami Jeridi, Karim Haggui, Sami Allagui, Khaled Korbi,
Fahid Ben Khalfallah, Adel Chedli (Jomaa Issam, 64), Majdi Traoui,
Chadi Hammami, Hatem Bejaoui (Ammar Jemal, 61), Seifallah Hosni,
Amine Chermiti (Majid Shahoudi, 46).