Doha – Abdullah Fawaz was the hero for Oman with an early goal as they carved out a 1-0 win over 1996 AFC Asian Cup runners-up United Arab Emirates in an international friendly played in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
The UAE backline had shown initial jitters and in the fifth minute, Salaah Said al Yahyaei carved open their defence with a delightful cutback from the byline for Fawaz to nonchalantly meet it with a left-footer that arrowed into the roof of the net.
Oman, in Group E, opened their campaign on January 16 with a match against Saudi Arabia before taking on Thailand and Kyrgyzstan.
Meanwhile, Graham Arnold’s Australia earned a hard-fought 2-0 win over Bahrain with a goal in each half through Amine Benaddi (35th) and Mitchell Duke (61st).
Korea Republic got a morale booster ahead of their assault on the Asian Cup title after they secured a 1-0 win over Iraq.
The solitary goal came five minutes before half-time, Seol Young-woo supplied Lee Jae-sung for Jurgen Klinsmann’s side to secure the win.
Lee Kang-in was sent off after picking up his second yellow card late in the game but it did not change the outcome of the result.
Earlier on Friday, Islamic Republic of Iran produced a solid performance to defeat Burkina Faso 2-1 on Friday, their final friendly on home soil ahead of the Asian Cup.
Mohamed Konate gave Burkina Faso the lead after 12 minutes but Porto forward Mehdi Taremi equalised for Team Melli before the half-time break.
Omid Ehbrahimi got the winner for Iran in the 70th minute as the three-time AFC Asian Cup winners showed they will be a force to be reckoned with in the upcoming tournament.
Jordan secured a 2-1 win over hosts Qatar in their friendly match, coming from behind after they found themselves trailing to Akram Afif’s 16th minute goal.
Yazan Alnaimat sparked the comeback in the second half with the equaliser before Ali Olwan scored the second on the hour mark.
Syria and Kyrgyz Republic played out a 1-1 draw, Ibrahim Hesar’s 71st minute strike cancelling out Ayzar Akmatov’s 48th minute opener for Kyrgyz Republic.