Oman v Turkmenistan: Verbeek tells players to 'score as many as possible'

Pim Verbeek's Oman will be in a good position to qualify for the Asian Cup's knockout phase in third if it beats Turkmenistan.

Oman coach Pim Verbeek's men head into their final Group F outing having lost their first two games.   -  Getty Images

Oman boss Pim Verbeek has urged his team to score "as many as possible" against Turkmenistan as it desperately bids to qualify for the 2019 Asian Cup knockout phase as one of the four best third-placed finishers.

Verbeek's men head into their final Group F outing having lost their first two games, however their goal difference is only minus 2, meaning they stand a good chance of progressing if they manage to beat Turkmenistan.

Its opponent finds itself in a similar situation, though it goes into Thursday's game with a goal difference of minus five after getting hammered 4-0 by Uzbekistan last time out.

The opportunity to qualify despite losing two games is not one Verbeek wants to pass up, and he is putting the pressure on his men to go out and get goals.

"We have to win," the Dutchman told reporters. "We know [negative] one goal difference might be enough. We will do everything to score as many as possible. We have 90 minutes, but it will be better to score early.

READ: Lux hat-trick gives Kyrgyzstan third-place hope

"All the players are ready. We have no red cards or injuries. We have to make all efforts to make it a good game. We cannot commit mistakes. We have to keep a clean sheet."

Considering the state of the group, Verbeek is fully expecting Turkmenistan to come out ready for a scrap.

The Uzbekistan defeat will have been poor for morale and, as such, it leaves the side effectively needing to trounce Oman to stand any chance of qualification.

Verbeek felt Turkmenistan actually put in a good display against Uzbekistan, but he is confident in his plan.

"Turkmenistan competed well against Uzbekistan and they will come hard at us," he added. "They were unlucky in the first half as Uzbekistan scored four goals. We have a plan and strategy, but everyone will have to wait till the game to see that."

Turkmenistan boss Yazguly Hojageldyyew said: "We understand that the Oman team is a very good team, but there's still a chance for both teams to qualify. We understand that the previous game was a bad result and we had some mistakes, but we already made some conclusions, we talked to the team and they are confident."

 

PLAYERS TO WATCH

 

Oman - Muhsen Al Ghassani

 

While Saad Al Mukhaini has been Oman's best player so far in this tournament at right-back, Muhsen Al Ghassani was a real livewire off the bench in its 2-1 defeat to Uzbekistan. The attacker – who scored Oman's goal – was involved in almost everything the side could muster in the final third, and given the need for a win he will need to deliver a big performance if selected.

 

Turkmenistan – Mamed Orazmuhamedov

 

For Turkmenistan to stand even the slightest chance of defying the odds and qualifying, it cannot afford to let any goals in. Therefore, goalkeeper Mamed Orazmuhamedov's performance will be absolutely vital. If he fails to turn up, the rest of the team will not have a hope.

KEY OPTA FACTS

 

- This will be the first encounter at the Asian Cup between Oman and Turkmenistan.
- Oman has won just one of its last eight group stage matches in the Asian Cup (1-0 against Kuwait in January 2015).
- Oman has taken 24 shots at goal in the 2019 edition of the Asian Cup, scoring just one goal, giving an accuracy rate of 4.2 per cent.
- Turkmenistan conceded four goals against Uzbekistan in its last match, more goals than it has ever conceded in a single game at the Asian Cup.
- Turkmenistan is yet to claim a win at the Asian Cup after five matches in the competition, drawing its debut match at the finals, before losing four in a row.

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :