Muscat: A brave Oman display against Saudi Arabia ended in a 1-0 defeat for the hosts, in their Group B match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers at Sultan Qaboos Stadium in Boushar.
Striker Saleh Al Shehri scored the only goal of the game in the 42nd minute, converting Fawad Al Muwallad’s clever back heel to give the visitors all three points.
The match was also of note for the return of fans to support the national team, albeit in a reduced capacity. COVID restrictions meant this was the first time in 18 months that they were allowed into stadiums.
Both sides were evenly matched throughout the game, each conjuring seven scoring opportunities, although only one was on target. The visitors, however, dominated possession with 62 percent, and were a bit better at passing compared to the hosts. The Saudis also committed more fouls (12) compared to Oman (six).
The result puts Oman in fourth place in Group B with three points from two games, while the Saudis are second behind Australia. The top two teams from both groups in the third round of the Asian sector of World Cup Qualifiers will make it through to Qatar 2022.
Oman’s next game is against Australia in Sydney on October 7, while the Saudis play Japan at home on the same day.