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Saturday, October 23, 2021

Oman beats Somalia to earn a spot at FIFA Arab Cup 2021


Oman will now join host Qatar and Iraq in Group A of the much-anticipated FIFA Arab Cup in Doha later this year. 

Oman secured its place in the main draw of the FIFA Arab Cup after beating Somalia 2-1 in a heated game at the Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium on Sunday.

Just 11 minutes in, Oman’s Mohsen Al-Ghasani pounced on a rebound meant for Abdulaziz al-Maqabli and propelled the team in a well-deserved lead.

Almost 25 minutes later, the same player earned a penalty after goalkeeper Mustafa Mohamed brought him down inside the penalty box, giving Salah al-Yahyaei easy access to the Somali net.

The 80th world-ranked Gulf team scored both goals in the first half of the game, but just when the team was about to get comfortable, Somalia’s Abel Gigli netted a spectacular goal minutes into the second-half whistle.

Read also: Sudan secures spot at FIFA Arab Cup qualifiers in Doha.

Though all players were kept on their toes following the goal, an equaliser wasn’t made possible despite several attempts from Somalia.

The next qualification match will take place on Tuesday, June 22, between Mauritania and Yemen. The winner will join Oman and Sudan in the final phase next November.

The single knockout fixtures will take place in Doha until 25 June 2021, and will include the 14 lowest-ranked countries (of the 23 participating sides) on the April 2021 edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking.

The remaining qualifiers will determine the next five participants in the tournament.

The last four matches are scheduled as follows:

22 June – Mauritania vs. Yemen – Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium

23 June – Lebanon vs. Djibouti – Khalifa International Stadium

24 June – Palestine vs. Comoros – Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium

25 June – Bahrain vs. Kuwait – Khalifa International Stadium

All the matches will kick off at 8 PM Qatar time.

Winners will join Qatar, Iraq, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Syria, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Algeria in the FIFA Arab Cup final phase from 30 November to 18 December.

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