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Oman to face China
Times News Service
January 29, 2013 , 9 : 35 pm
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China’s coach Jose Camacho, right, speaking to media on eve of the match against Oman. Pic: Times of Oman /A.R. RAJKUMAR
As part of their preparations for the AFC Asian Cup qualifier which begins next month, the Paul Le Guen coached Oman will play China in an international friendly at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Bausher on Wednesday, 30 January.
This is the first major game after a disastrous Gulf Cup campaign in Bahrain early this month where Oman was knocked-out of the tournament. Speaking to the media during the pre-match press conference yesterday, China Coach Jose Camacho said the match would give his young side an exposure playing against Oman.
"They (Oman) are a great side to play against and it will certainly give more exposure to my boys," said the former Real Madrid and Spain coach. "I think what we want to gain from this friendly international is experience and I am sure playing against them can lift ourselves," he said.
China failed to reach the 2014 World Cup after they finished third in the group, however, Oman are still in contention for a berth in the Fifa World Cup 2014 after remaining equal on points with Iraq and Australia in the Group B of the Asian qualifiers.
If they manage to win the remaining three matches of the competition, they will qualify directly in the next year's finals in Brazil. They have a difficult away trip to Australia in March followed by a home tie against Iraq before wrapping up the campaign with a trip to Jordan.
"A win can change the perspective of our side," said a source close to Oman's team management.
"The coach is working really hard with the boys and I am sure it will help us," he said.
In the Asian Cup qualifier, Oman are in Group A alongside with West Asian neighbours Jordan, Syria and Singapore. Oman had failed to qualify for the tournament proper in the 2011 AFC Asian Cup in Qatar.
"I am sure this time we will be able to qualify. We have a young team and they are in a transition period and it will take some time to really settle but I am sure as many matches comes by we can certainly reach great heights," the source added.
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