Muscat: Star striker Imad Al Hosni as well as fellow veterans Saad Suhail and Mohammed She’eba were among the experienced players ignored as new coach Juan Ramon Lopez Caro on Sunday announced a list of 26 probables ahead of the Sultanate’s two crucial World Cup/Asia Cup qualifiers.
Attacking midfielder Eid Al Farsi, defender Ali Al Busaidi and forward Al Abd Al Nofli were also the notable omissions from the squad from which Lopez Caro will pick the final team for the final two Group D qualifiers -- at home against Guam on March 24 and an away game against Iran on March 29. Iran currently occupy the top spot with 14 points while Oman are second on 11.
The Sultanate team require two outright wins to ensure their progress to the next round of the World Cup qualifiers.
While Imad and Eid are reported to be carrying injuries, it is Lopez Caro’s omission of Mohammed She’eba and Saad Suhail that has come as a big surprise to many.
However, the Spaniard justified his decision saying ‘I have selected the team according to our situation’.
Speaking at a press conference organised to announce the probables at the Oman Football Association (OFA) Headquarters, Lopez Caro, however, said: “The doors are open for all players. At the same time no player from this list is a permanent. The players are chosen based on what we require for the team.”
Lopez Caro, who previously coached Spanish giants Real Madrid and Saudi Arabia national team, also said that he expects full commitment from the players.
“All the players need to prove their worth. They have to show a professional approach while playing at home or outside,” Lopez Caro said.
The 26-player list includes a number of new faces and they are Mohammed Al Rawahi of Al Nahda, Fanja’s Khalid Al Yaqoobi, Muscat’s Mohammed Al Amri and Moahmmed Al Habsi, Suwaiq’s Harib Al Saadi, Seeb’s Omar Al Malki and Salah Al Yahyai and Al Khabourah’s Mohsin Al Ghassani.
Omani captain and goalkeeping hero Ali Al Habsi heads list, which also includes Faiz Rushedi, Ahmed Al Mukhaini, Raed Ibrahim, Ahmed Mubarak ‘Kanu’, Ali Al Jabri, Qasim Said, Abdulaziz Al Maqbali.
The probables: Ali Al Habsi (Reading, England), Faiz Al Rusheidi (Al Nasr), Riyad Al Alawi (Al Arouba), Ahmed Al Mukhaini (Al Arouba), Abdulsalam Al Mukhaini (Al Arouba), Mohammed Al Rawahi (Al Nahda), Khalid Al Yaqoubi (Fanja), Mohammed Al Musalami (Fanja), Basil Al Rawahi (Fanja), Mohammed Al Amri (Muscat), Raed Ibrahim (Fanja), Ahmed Mubarak (Maeedar, Qatar), Ali Al Jabri (Fanja), Harib Al Saadi (Suwaiq), Yasin Al Shiyadi (Suwaiq), Omar Al Malki (Seeb), Saud Al Farsi (Sur), Jameel Al Yahmadi (Al Shabab), Qasim Said (Dhofar), Mohammed Al Habsi (Muscat), Salah Al Yahyai (Seeb), Hussain Al Hadhari (Dhofar), Mohsin Johar (Saham), Abdulaziz Al Maqbali (Fanja), Saeed Abdulsalam (Al Khabourah), Mohsin Al Ghassani (Suwaiq).