x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Oman hope for third time lucky

Oman have the chance to win their first Gulf Cup tonight, but they will have to make another piece of history to do so.

Oman have the chance to win their first Gulf Cup tonight, but they will have to make another piece of history to do so. The hosts face Saudi Arabia in Muscat in the final - a country they have never beaten in 14 meetings. It is the third consecutive Gulf Cup final for Claude Le Roy's side, who lost in 2007 1-0 to the UAE, and the coach is hoping his team can become the third straight host nation to win the event.

"We can't take anything for granted but having played so well in this competition I feel we have the stuff to pull it off this time," he said. "It is the two best teams and the best it is the best team on the night. Le Roy's counterpart Nasser al Johar shared similar sentiments and confidence in his side. The Saudis are yet to concede a goal in the tournament and have scored 10 of their own. "The crowd will be behind Oman but we are a good team and can handle the pressure," he said. "We have come here to win and in my thinking the players have done everything they have been asked for.

"We had three wonderful games in the league phase and a good semi-final win over Kuwait. All we need now is one last effort." Both teams have the full squads at their disposals and are expected to field unchanged line-ups. Victory for the Saudis tonight would be the fourth time they have won the tournament, making them the second-most successful side in the event's history behind Kuwait. apassela@thenational.ae