Sunday June 20, 2021
Oman have become the second team to emerge triumphant from the FIFA Arab Cup 2021™ qualifiers, edging past Somalia in an entertaining encounter at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium.
Ranked 80th in the world and facing a side 117 places lower, the Omanis were heavy favourites for this tie - and justified that status with an impressive first-half performance.
Mohsen Al-Ghasani pounced on a rebound to fire them into an 11th-minute lead, and that was doubled 25 minutes later when the same player earned a penalty that was coolly converted by Salaah Al Yahyaei.
Somalia, though, showed real spirit in the second half and provided a dramatic finale after deservedly halving the deficit through a superb downward header by Abel Gigli.
Sudan held on for victory, however, and they will join hosts Qatar, Iraq, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Syria, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Algeria and Sudan - who qualified yesterday - in the tournament’s final phase from 30 November to 18 December.
The 2021 FIFA Arab Cup will feature 23 teams (12 from Asia and 11 from Africa) participating in the qualification and final competitions.
Of the 23 nations involved, the 14 lowest-ranked teams according to the April edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Rankings will participate in single-leg qualification matches ahead of the tournament, which will be held later this year.
The qualification matches were decided according to the rankings, as follows:
The seven winning teams will join the nine highest-ranked teams who have already qualified for the tournament: host nation Qatar (58), Tunisia (26), Algeria (33), Morocco (34), Egypt (46), Saudi Arabia (65), Iraq (68), the United Arab Emirates (73) and Syria (79).
The tournament will consist of a group stage and knockout rounds. The 16 teams will be split into four groups of four, with the top two from each progressing to the quarter-finals. Matches will be played at six FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ tournament venues.
Click here to read the procedures for the draw.