x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Korea fire blank thanks to Al Habsi

Ali al Habsi brought a touch of English Premiership class back with him to the Gulf as his heroics earned a draw for Oman against Korea.

DUBAI // Ali al Habsi brought a touch of English Premiership class back with him to the Gulf as his heroics earned a draw for Oman against Korea. Korea should have claimed victory, in the type of game which gives friendlies a bad name, but they were prevented by a brilliant double stop from Oman's No 1, who plies his trade between the posts for Bolton Wanderers. With four minutes left, the Koreans, who will look to seal their place at next year's World Cup against the UAE next week, earned a penalty, for which Ahmed al Mukhaini, Oman's defender, was sent off. Ki Sung Yueng tapped a tame spot-kick to the goalkeeper's right. Al Habsi had no problem fending the ball away, but left his goal wide open. However, he somehow managed to recover his ground to collect a second effort from Ki, who deliberated before directing his shot towards the far corner. Al Habsi was the least luminous of two Premiership stars on display at the Al Wasl Sports Club. Park Ji-Sung, a week on from his Champions League final disappointment with Manchester United, was largely anonymous in a tepid first-half. Korea's most famous export captained the side, but was present in body rather than spirit and was one of 11 substitutions made by the coach, Huh Jung-Moo, at half-time. pradley@thenational.ae