LONDON: Oman may be viewed as one of the minnows but Pim Verbeek has warned the Asian Cup big guns to take them lightly at their peril.
The Reds scraped into the second round thanks to an inspired 3-1 victory over Turkmenistan. That gave them their the first points of the tournament and enabled them to squeeze into the knockout stages as one of the four best third-placed teams.
Before their victory over Turkmenistan Oman had lost 2-1 and 1-0 to Uzbekistan and Japan respectively in their earlier Group F matches. But Verbeek claimed Oman were well worth their place in the business end of the tournament.
“We had a good 2018 and we expected to do well in the Asian Cup. We were unlucky to lose to Uzbekistan while we held our own against Japan, who are a very, very good side,” the Dutch coach said.
Having made it to the knockout stages Verbeek is confident his side has what it takes to progress deep in the tournament.
The Gulf outfit will have to be at their very best on Sunday when they face tournament favorites Iran in Abu Dhabi. But Verbeek is only too aware of where his side need to improve ahead of the crunch clash and has backed them to continue the shocks.
“We conceded to Turkmenistan because we lost a little bit of concentration. It was the same against Uzbekistan and this is something that my players must overcome,” the coach said.
“Our dream was to go into the next round and we have achieved that. Now it is all or nothing matches and anything is possible.”
View Full Article at: Sport