Victory has given lot more confidence, says Oman’s coach Branko Ivankovic

Sports Tuesday 17/January/2023 20:32 PM
By: Times News Service
Victory has given lot more confidence, says Oman’s coach Branko Ivankovic

Muscat: In his post-match comments, Oman’s coach Branko Ivankovic of Croatia said: “It is a great feeling to be in the final. The players did a commendable job and demonstrated a good execution of the plan. I am proud of them and congratulate them on their efforts. They played an excellent tactical game and didn’t make any mistakes.

“The goal [scored by Jameel al Yahmadi] was a reward of teamwork and individual brilliance. We made it to the final despite having injuries to a couple of our key players.”

The Croatian coach expressed his happiness at his success in making the Omani fans happy. “This goal was a reward for the players’ performance during the match,” Ivankovic said.

The experienced Croatian “thanked the fans who flew in specially to watch the semi-final from Oman.”
“I am happy that the fans could enjoy a good match and watch the team’s victory and progress into the final.”
Ivankovic said: “I am satisfied with the team’s performance. The match against the defending champions was difficult. We deserved the victory and it has come against the holders.

“The victory has given a lot more confidence to the players, who have gained good experience with each match over the past few days. I try to make my boys believe in themselves and emphasise the mindset of having a winning mentality in them. I thank the fans for trusting us, and our goal is always to bring joy and smiles on the faces of our fans.”

The Croatian added: “I am now looking ahead to face Iraq in the final. I have followed the Iraq team a lot. I thank the Iraqi fans who have supported the teams during the ongoing tournament. I realise the challenge of facing a host nation in the final. I aim to win and bring the title back to Oman. Each team goes into the finals with an aim to win. We are ready to face Iraq in the final.”

It may be mentioned that Oman and Iraq, the finalists, were in the same group before advancing to the knockout round. The group stage match between them ended in a goalless draw with Iraq going on to top group only on goal-difference after both the teams collected seven points each at the end of the group engagements.
Bahrain coach all praise for Yahmadi’s goal

A disappointed Bahrain coach Helio Sousa of Portugal said that the “semi-final was a balanced match and the only difference was a result of a great goal.”

“I am proud of my players who fought till the end. It was a balanced match and only a superb effort and a goal could make the difference [pointing to Jameel al Yahmadi’s stunning pile-driver],” he said.

He added: “We played good matches during the tournament. Today’s match was decided by small details. Both the teams played a very good match. We will certainly work on change. We are building a team for the future, and we are trying to create a balanced team between experience and youth. We had an opportunity to give the youth a chance during the Gulf Cup. We have the Asian Cup in the summer, and we will continue to work for improvement.”