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Ivankovic overjoyed as Oman achieve Asian Qualifiers target


Doha: Branko Ivankovic was a happy man after Oman reached the final round of the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 on Tuesday.

The West Asian side had secured their place in the final round of the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup prior to their final Group E match against Bangladesh, which Oman won 3-0 to finish second behind Qatar on 18 points.

The impressive haul saw head coach Ivankovic's side earn one of the best five runners-up spots available to the final round plus also seal qualification to the AFC Asian Cup China 2023.

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“First of all I want to congratulate the players and all Omani people for the win against Bangladesh and qualifying into the final round,” said Ivankovic.

“The players performed well today and this brings a lot of satisfaction to us. Our main target was to advance to the next stage and this is what we achieved, by showing great determination and continuous efforts.”

Looking ahead, the Croatian tactician admitted that there will be tough matches in the final round of the Asian Qualifiers but the team will be well prepared.

“We know that we will be playing against the best teams in the final round and we will prepare the players well in order to get good results.

“Our focus in the next few days will shift to the match against Somalia in the FIFA Arab Cup Qualifiers and hopefully we can prepare well for the match.”

Meanwhile, Jamie Day was proud of his Bangladesh players for showing great attitude despite losing against an experienced Oman side.

“It’s obvious there is a difference in quality between the two teams but I thought our players worked hard, did their best and showed great attitude,” said Day. "Despite the obvious gap, the players never gave up."

“We had some decent chances to level the score in the first half and we could have scored later on if we were a bit more ruthless in our finishing. But it has been a great experience for our players with this young squad

“We had four or five players missing today, but I’m proud of them for going on till 90 minutes. We will use this experience to qualify for the next stage."

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