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Asian Qualifiers - Group E Preview: Oman, Qatar set to settle matters, Bangladesh, India in crucial showdown


Doha: The race for top spot in Group E of the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 will conclude at  the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium on Monday if Qatar avoid defeat against Oman.

India and Bangladesh, meanwhile, will fight it out in their bid to gain automatic places in the third round of qualifying for the AFC Asian Cup.

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OMAN v QATAR

Qatar lead Group E with 19 points from seven matches with second placed Oman seven adrift but with two games in hand - against Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

Felix Sanchez’s side stretched their lead at the top of the standings after defeating India 1-0 on Thursday and a draw against Oman will seal top spot and confirm their place in the AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Finals.

With their Matchday Two draw against India in September 2019 the only blot in their near flawless qualifying campaign, Qatar will go into the tie having already beaten Oman once in the Asian Qualifiers, a 2-1 win at the Al Janoub Stadium in 2019.

Head coach Feliz Sanchez wasn't overly concerned with his team's inability to put away their chances against India on Thursday but will remind his players that they can't afford to squander opportunities against an Oman side bidding to steal top spot from the reigning AFC Asian Cup holders.

Branko Ivankovic’s Oman are in a strong position to claim one of the qualifying spots for the best second-placed teams should they fail to leapfrog Qatar after the completion of their remaining matches against Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

Oman will head into the tie against Qatar having registered wins over Thailand (1-0) and Indonesia (3-1) in friendlies and Ivankovic has named a strong 29-member squad for this month's triple-header, including striker Munther Al Alawi and 30-year old Ali Al Busaidi.

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


BANGLADESH v INDIA

It will be an all-South Asian affair as Bangladesh take on India in their crucial clash at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium with both sides vying to seal third place in Group E.

Both teams are out of contention of qualifying for the next round of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Qualifiers but still have a lot to play for in their remaining fixtures as a third place finish will seal qualification to the Third Round of the AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Qualifiers.

Currently at the bottom of the group with two points from six games, Bangladesh rallied back to hold Afghanistan on Thursday and head coach Jamie Day will be relying on that same intensity to see them get past India.

When the two teams met in 2019, Bangladesh were disappointed not to walk away with the three points as India scored late in the game courtesy of Seiminlen Doungel’s strike.

India, who had to play with 10 men against Qatar on Thursday, will be targeting their first win of the campaign as Igor Stimac's side look to improve on their haul of three points from six matches.

India kept Qatar at bay in the second half thanks to some solid defending and with Glen Martins coming off an impressive debut in Indian colours alongside a rested Sunil Chhetri, Stimac will be optimistic of his team’s chances against Bangladesh.

Bangladesh v India
Venue: Jassim bin Hamad Stadium, Doha
Kick-off: 17:00 hours (UTC+3)

*Polls end at 23:00 hours (UTC+8) on June 7.

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