Seeb: Oman went top of the Group D standings on Thursday with a 3-0 win over Turkmenistan seeing the Gulf Sultanate go above Guam on goal difference following the Pacific Ocean islanders’ 6-0 defeat to Iran.
Paul Le Guen’s side, who started their 2018 FIFA World Cup/2019 AFC Asian Cup joint-qualifying campaign with a 2-1 away win in India, got off to the perfect start at the Seeb Stadium with Raed Ibrahim Saleh putting the home side 1-0 up after seven minutes.
Turkmenistan were dealt a further blow just five minutes after the 23-year-old Fanja winger had opened the scoring when defender Mekan Saparov, a 2013 AFC President’s Cup winner with FC Balkan, scored an own goal before Oman went three clear in the just before the hour mark when Imad Al Hosni grabbed his second goal of the qualifiers following his match-winner against India.
Arslanmyrat Amanov reduced the deficit in the 82nd minute but it was too little too late for the Turkmen, who will be looking to add to the point they picked up against Iran when they host India in their fourth match of the campaign on October 10.
Oman, meanwhile, resume their qualification drive on Thursday when they look to make it a hat-tick of Group D wins when they travel to Guam for a top-of the-table clash with the Matao.
The group winners and four best runners-up (total 12 teams) will advance to the 2019 AFC Asian Cup finals and the final round of qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The next best 24 teams from the preliminary stage of the joint qualifiers will compete in a separate competition for the remaining slots (12 slots or 11 slots + 1 slot for the host) in the 24-team 2019 Asian Cup.