#ReadersResponse: In the wake of Oman’s 1-0 win against Bahrain in the semifinals of the 23rd Arab Gulf Cup of Nations, residents in the nation have united to wish the national football team luck ahead of the Sultanate’s final with the United Arab Emirates on Friday, the 5th of January. Ardent and loyal supporters have taken to the streets in celebrations and impromptu street parties, waving flags and scarves, singing songs, and shouting slogans in support of the national team.
“If Oman is going to win the finals please declare a one day public holiday because I also want to celebrate with the nation,” said Caru Justin from the Philippines.
“Yes, we should celebrate if Oman win, why not?” asked Mohammad Osama Rawat. “This will be jubilation time for the entire country. I wish the team comes back with the Gulf Cup. Good luck and all the best to Team Oman for the final outing.
Syed Ansar Shah added, “We will definitely celebrate our final victory in the Gulf Cup, inshallah”.
Ryan Paik had a more practical response to the Sultanate’s chances in the final. “It is good that the UAE played the full 120 minutes in the semifinals, and they will have less rest leading into the final. The fatigue factor might turn out to be key for Oman in the end. Plus, we have better goalkeeper if the match goes a long way. Go Red Army!”
Mizanur Rahman said, “Inshallah Oman will win the Gulf Cup final,” as Jocelyn Bedona Ballon added, “Bring back the Gulf Cup Team Oman.”
“We wish all of our boys luck in the final. We are sure they will win, Inshallah, courage will be with them in the game,” added Salma Al Naami.
“Congrats on the win in the semifinals, and good luck for Friday’s final. Come on Team Oman!” added Mithuna Shetty, with Afzal Hussain chiming in with, “Congratulations Oman on winning in the semifinals and getting through to the final. There was excellent game planning from you.”
“I offer my full support to Oman,” added Sadananda Nairy. “Good luck to my brothers in Kuwait,” with Rashmy Ifthiquar Zahir saying, “Of course, yes, we are confident that Oman will win the final.”
Oman’s final against the UAE kicks off at the Jaber Al Ahmad International Stadium in Kuwait City on Friday evening. The Sultanate and the Emirates were both in Group A of the tournament, with the UAE beating Oman 1-0, courtesy of an Ali Mabkhout penalty.
However, Oman turned things around with a 2-0 win over regional favourites Saudi Arabia and a 1-0 win over hosts Kuwait, while the UAE drew both of their games to finish second in the group.
Oman and the UAE last met in similar circumstances in 2008 in Abu Dhabi, when the Sultanate beat their neighbours 2-1 in the opening game of that Gulf Cup, but Ismael Mattar put the ball past legendary Oman goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi in the final, under the eyes of a watching Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the United Arab Emirates.