MUSCAT // Oman survived a nervous last few minutes to seal a 2-1 win in their World Cup Asian Zone qualifying tie against Jordan in Muscat last night.
Paul Le Guen, the Oman coach, was delighted by his team's performance. "I congratulate the players who have prepared so well in the build-up to the match and who worked so hard to get the result today," he said.
"It is difficult to beat a team like Jordan, who did not overcome Australia in their last match by luck."
After a mostly scrappy first 35 minutes, the first half came alive as Oman squandered several openings, the striker Imad Al Hosni missing their best two chances.
Oman eventually went ahead through a goal by Ahmed Mubarak who got on the end of a corner on the hour mark.
The home team continued to control the game after that and went two up with minutes left on the clock, Jumaa Darwish side-footing home from close range after a mistake by the Jordanian defence.
Complacency allowed Jordan back into the match when the substitute Taher Bawab scored from what looked like an offside position. Deep into injury time, as Jordan belatedly found some momentum, Oman's goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi was beaten again but this time the assistant referee's flag was up.
Jordan's coach Adnan Hamad, who was unimpressed with the refereeing throughout, was left fuming.
"I was very satisfied with the way our players performed, but not with the referee," he said. "I'm not usually one to talk about referees, but he clearly put our players under so much pressure, especially by booking three defenders in the first 20 minutes."
Le Guen, in the meantime, is looking forward to his team's next match after they leapfrogged Jordan in the group to share second place with Australia, who have a superior goal difference. The coach stressed the importance of where this win leaves Oman.
"I want the people of Oman to be proud of the team, and to be aware of what the team has achieved so far," he said, before acknowledging those who turned up at Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex. "I want to thank the fans because the stadium was full and the atmosphere was great."