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Asian Cup Qualification

  • March 5, 2014
  • • 21:30
  • • Sultan Qaboos Sport Complex, Masqaṭ (Muscat)
  • Referee: Hyung-Jin Ko
  • • Attendance: 6700

Singapore out to impress against Oman

Singapore out to impress against Oman

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The Lions have virtually no chance of qualifying for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup and will instead use the opportunity to put in a good performance in their last Group A match

Singapore will take on Oman in Muscat on Wednesday night in their 2015 AFC Asian Cup qualifier, Singapore time, knowing full well they have almost no chance of making it to the tournament proper in Australia.

The Lions will enter their final Group A game as cellar-dwellers, having won one and lost the other four from their previous matches. In contrast, Oman have already qualified by virtue of topping the group, although second-placed Jordan can still overtake them as they are two points behind.

That will require Bernd Stange's men to get a result of some sort against the Omanis, which frankly, is a tall task. While the hosts have nothing to play for except pride, being at home should be enough motivation, adding to that the fact that they are a class above the visitors.

Oman ran out comfortable 2-0 winners in the reverse fixture back at the Jalan Besar Stadium in August last year and Stange will be hoping to see visible improvements as he tries to shape the squad into one capable of playing top-class Asian opposition regularly.

The Lions did put up a plucky performance against Jordan in their 3-1 defeat last time out and the German will want more of that. While Baihakkik Khaizan is suspended after being sent off in that game, there is LionsXII centre-back Afiq Yunos to step in and link up with team-mate Safuwan Baharudin.

In midfield, Hariss Harun and Zulfahmi Arifin look set to partner each other in the centre, while the absence of the injured Khairul Amri opens up a spot for Shahfiq Ghani or Iqbal Hussain up front. With Stange looking to blood youth into the side, the likes of Gabriel Quak and Faris Ramli might find themselves thrown in from the start as well.

Scoring will be a tough task considering that the Omanis have remarkably kept clean sheets in all five of their previous matches. Furthermore, Wigan Athletic goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi, who has played in the Premier League before, looks set to start in between the sticks for the home side.

The physicality of Oman will prove a tough test for Singapore, but they should be determined to give a good account of themselves nevertheless, with the AFF Suzuki Cup coming up at the end of this year.

The game will kick off at 9.30p.m, Singapore time, and will be shown live on television.

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Reader's Predictions

Oman OMA
Oman Oman
Singapore SIN
Singapore Singapore

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Oman OMA
4 - 0
Singapore SIN
Oman OMA
3 - 0
Singapore SIN
Oman OMA
2 - 0
Singapore SIN