Muscat, OMAN - Oman returned to winning ways with a comfortable 5-0 victory over the Maldives in the Group D match of 2019 Asian Cup qualifiers at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex on Tuesday.
Mohsin Jouhar opened the scoring just after 5 minutes into the game as Oman looked to bounce back from a 2-1 defeat to Palestine.
Khalid Al Hajri, Salah Al Yahyaei, Jameel Al Yahmadi and Sami Al Hasani adding further goals in the second half, Oman moved three points clear of the Maldives in second place in Group D.
Oman took control of the contest from the first whistle but managed to score only a goal in the first half.
Oman scored the second goal two minutes before the hour mark as Al Hajri was on hand to slot home from inside the area after at least three Maldives defenders failed to deal with a cross from the right flank.
Ten minutes later as substitute Al Yahyaei fired home from the edge of the penalty area and changed the sore to 3-0.
Al Yahmadi struck the fourth with four minutes remaining and the home side wrapped up the victory with two minutes remaining as Al Hasani was first to react after initially seeing his shot from Saad Al Mukhaini’s cross saved by Maldives goalkeeper Faisal.Palestine beat Bhutan by 2-0 in the other game of group D to strengthen their position at the top of the group.
What on earth was that? I saw nothing that resembled a proper gameplan, just 11 out-of-breath guys stationed in and around the penalty area. This was our biggest defeat since getting thumped 5-0 away at Indonesia all the way back in 2001. What happened to the gutsy performances we saw in the early and mid-2000s? These underachievers look only half-interested while playing what should be the most important matches of their careers. Why is it that we keep rewarding the same 14/15 players even when they don't play well? Pretty much the same players keep getting picked for all our matches regardless of who the Head Coach is. Some players clearly have too much influence within the squad and it's hurting our progress. I think certain areas of the team need freshening up. We have a lot of talented young players playing week-in, week-out in the DPL, yet they are being frozen out of games, wasted away in training camps, ultimately to be seen warming the bench in favour of the unreliable players who have been representing the national team for the last decade. I think it's clear now that we are not going to qualify for the Asian Cup, so let's just give the new generation a chance to show their worth on the continental stage. I am sure that they will show a lot more heart and steel than this lot.
U say talented players there are.
I ask where?