Al Habsi boosts Oman ahead of Ireland friendly
After the defeat against Fulham FC on Friday, Oman national team were back to training yesterday and the highlight was the presence of Ali Al Habsi, who is back in United Kingdom after spending some time with his newborn baby.
Oman will play Ireland tomorrow but conspicuous by his absence was midfielder Ahmed Hadid.
According to information receieved from the OFA media officer, Paul Le Guen had given the players an off day on Saturday during which they went on a tour of London.
Yesterday's training session was at the University of Surrey ground and all players took part. Ahmed Hadid was recovering from the injury he earned from a tough tackle by Fulham defender.
Oman will play Ireland at the Stade de Fulham, which will be a build-up match ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Jordan on October 16.
Oman must win the home match in order to stay in contention for a spot in World Cup.
Oman's training session today will be at the Fulham stadium. The training witnesses competition between players where the team will train today in the match play yard at five.
A press conference will be held today evening before the training where coach Paul Le Guen and captain Ali Al Habsi will interact with the British and Irish press.
An official source at Oman TV confirmed that the national television will cover the match live tomorrow evening. With Oman already deep into their quest for qualification for the 2014 Fifa World Cup and with Ireland about to embark on their own campaign, this match will mark the first occasion that the teams have played against each other.
The Republic of Ireland have previously played two friendlies at Craven Cottage, with Fulham regulars Damien Duff and Stephen Kelly having an opportunity to play international football at their home club ground. "Everyone knows the Republic has the best supporters in the world, so we are expecting there to be a great atmosphere and are looking forward to welcoming Oman and their fans to Fulham's home ground," said Kelly.
Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni added: "I am looking forward to returning to Craven Cottage for this match which will be a useful opportunity to prepare further for our World Cup Qualification campaign."
Oman's Paul Le Guen, an ex France International, who has also managed Lyon, Rangers and Paris Saint-Germain, said: "This match will be a good test for both teams and Craven Cottage is a fantastic Premier League ground that will add to the occasion."