Arab News Headlines

Qatar edge Oman to confirm pole position

DOHA – Qatar defeated Oman 1-0 at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium to seal top spot in Group E of the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 on Monday.

The result leaves Qatar with 22 points, 10 points ahead of second-placed Oman, who still have two games to play – against Afghanistan on Friday and Bangladesh four days later.

Oman, who lost 2-1 to Qatar in October 2019, started the match strongly and were unlucky not to find the back of the net within the first minute after Abdul Aziz Al Muqbali’s shot from inside the area was easily saved by goalkeeper Saad Al Sheeb.

That would prove to be Oman’s only meaningful attempt at goal as Qatar imposed their authority in the game with Hatim Abdelaziz and captain Hasan Al Haydos marshaling the midfield.

Felix Sanchez’s men came close to scoring in the seventh minute when Abdelkarim Hassan lost his marker inside the area but the midfielder wasted the opportunity when he fired his effort just wide.

It was a one sided affair as Qatar continued to pile on the pressure but their finishing in front of goal left much to be desired as Mohammed Muntari and Hassan Al Heidos both wasted opportunities to score.

Oman continued to frustrate their opponents as Branko Ivankovic’s men foiled Qatar’s every attempt at goal with Al Haydos given no room to operate inside the final third.

However, Oman resistance finally cracked when they conceded a penalty in the 39th minute following a foul on Almoez Ali as Al Haydos struck coolly from the spot to give Qatar a 1-0 lead going into the break.

Oman began the second half very much in a defensive mode as Qatar started aggressively in a bid to extend their lead.

Salah Al Yahyai, however, had a good chance to draw Oman level in the 52nd minute when he collected the ball just inside the box following a swift counter attacking move but Abdelkarim Hassan was quick to foil his attempt.

Oman’s confidence grew as the match wore on but the equaliser was out of reach as Qatar held on for the win.

Source: Qatar Olympic Committee