Airmarine Cup 2019: Oman hammer hapless Afghanistan 5-0 in tournament opener

AFC Asian Cup 2019: Oman 1-0 Turkmenistan (Ahmed Al-Mahaijri 20′)

Some horrendous defending from set pieces by Afghanistan made things easy for Oman as they thrashed their opponents 5-0 in the Airmarine Cup 2019 at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday. 

Three goals in the first half and two after the restart helped Erwin Koeman to make an impressive debut as the head coach of Oman as they progressed to the final of the inaugural edition of the tournament where they will now face Malaysia or Singapore on March 23.

Erwin, who was an assistant to his brother Ronald Koeman at Southampton and Everton, is looking to improve the work done by his compatriot Pim Verbeek and could not have had a better start to his stint as he looks to take the 23rd Arabian Gulf Cup winners to new heights.

It was their vastly-experienced skipper Ahmed Al-Mahaijri who opened the scoring for Oman as early as in the ninth minute of the game turning in a corner kick from Raed Ibrahim Saleh.

It was only a sign of things to come as Afghanistan defence looked shaky form the start. Raed latched onto a good through ball, rounded the goalkeeper and rolled the ball into the back of the net to double the West Asians’ advantage as the game neared the half-hour mark.

It looked like Oman will head into the interval two goals up, but Mohammed Al-Balushi added another to their kitty heading in from a corner kick as Afghanistan’s defending of set pieces was called into question again.

Oman’s Raed Ibrahim Saleh

Oman did not sit back, but came out of the blocks flying in the second half as well and four minutes in, the score became 4-0 as Raed led a quick counter before switching the ball to Abdul Aziz Al-Muqbali who slotted it past the Afghan goalkeeper.

A fifth was added in the second half injury time — no points for guessing — from a corner kick. Mussalam Akaak was the one who got on the scoresheet this time to hit the final nail of Afghanistan’s coffin.

Oman will now play the winners of the Malaysia vs Singapore encounter in the final on March 23, while Afghanistan will face the losers of that match in a third-place play-off the same day.

You can follow all the action from Malaysia vs Singapore LIVE here.