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Somalia Fall To Oman In FIFA Arab Cup Qualifier

Somalia went down 2-1 to Oman in the FIFA Arab Cup qualifier played at Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Qatar on Sunday.

The Ocean Stars utilized the players that did duty against Djibouti in an international friendly match played last Monday although a large majority of that squad was unavailable.

Muhsen Al Ghassani and Salah Al-Yahyaei scored the goals for Gulf Samba and the Ocean Stars denied them a clean sheet courtesy of Abel Gigli’s effort.

Somalia’s Muhamud Ali nearly marked his debut with an own-goal but Mustaf Mohamed was on hand to keep out the defender’s wayward header.

Oman made a telling start in the 11 minute, going in front through expertise of Ghassani after he pounced in a rebound for the opener.

The youthful Ocean Stars tried to grab an intimidate response quickly thereafter, but Oman locked the doors to any potential breakthrough.

The Gulf Samba extended their lead on the 35th minute when Ghassani  earned a penalty after he was fouled by Mohammed with Salaah Al Yahyaei coolly converting to make it, 2-0.

Mustaf Mohamed had to be at his best in the 43rd minute, as he did well to keep out Al Busaidi’s stinging effort from the edge of the area, after some good work by Harib Al Saadi.

Ocean Stars applied intense pressure on Oman in the earlier minute of the second stanza, with a vicious free-kick from Zayd Farah posing a serious threat.

Abel Gigli got Somalia back into the game in the 54th minute when he sent a powerful header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner.

Omar Hassan nearly drew Somalia level in the 78th minute but the forward managed to head over the crossbar from six-yards out.

The East Africans pushed for the equaliser in the remaining stages, but were let down by some poor finishing by Anwar Sidali Shakunda, who squandered another headed chance in the 89th minute.

Oman saw out the rest of the second half to clinch a spot in FIFA Arab Cup.They join hosts Qatar, Iraq, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Syria, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Algeria in the tournament’s final phase from 30 November to 18 December.

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