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Asian Qualifiers - Group E Preview: Different targets for Oman, Afghanistan in crucial clash

Doha: Oman will seek nothing less than three points when they face Afghanistan in Group E of the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 on Friday. 

Oman, second in the standings with 12 points, are still in the running for a place in the final round of the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 as one of the best five second-placed teams.

Fourth-placed Afghanistan must win their next two matches to finish third in Group E and earn automatic qualification into the final round qualifiers for the AFC Asian Cup China 2023.

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Afghanistan’s defensive resolve will be put to test against Oman at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium with the The Lions of Khorasan hoping to improve their position in Group E, having already conceded 12 goals in six matches.

Afghanistan will continue to rely on their European-based players to see them through with Faysal Shayesteh, Milad Intezar and captain Farshad Noor marshalling the midfield.

Despite playing out a 1-1 draw against Bangladesh last week, head coach Anoush Dastgir will be hoping that Afghanistan can hold off the Omani attack for 90 minutes.

Oman, who have the second best scoring record in Group E with 11 goals, come into the tie having lost 1-0 against Qatar on Tuesday and the West Asians will looking to bounce back against Afghanistan.

In their previous encounter, Branko Ivanovic’s charges won 3-0 at the Al Seeb Stadium in October 2019, and the Croatian tactician will expect his team to be firing on all cylinders against Afghanistan.

Striking duo Muhsen Al Ghassani and Abdulaziz Al Muqbali, who have each scored twice in the Asian Qualifiers, should continue to lead the line for Oman.

Afghanistan v Oman
Venue: Jassim bin Hamad Stadium, Doha
Kick-off: 20:00 hours (UTC+3)

*Poll ends on June 11, 23:00 hours (UTC+8).

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