Word on the street: Oman’s Gulf Cup victory

January 08, 2018

Public opinion on the streets of Muscat

How big a victory do you think it is for Oman football?

Yousuf al Balushi, Government employee

This victory has brought great joy to Oman and we regard it as a very important time for the country’s football. This win will put Oman on the world map of football. Well done Omani players.

Husaam al Musallami, Accountant

My hopes were high when Oman reached the semifinal. Winning the cup means a lot not only to the players but to Oman in general as well. The win will help the team do better in the coming international events.

Nabila Jamal, Private sector employee

This victory is very important for both men and women of our country. I am so happy and proud of our boys. Winning the Gulf Cup has given us the hope that we will be able to enter World Cup one day.

Fadhil al Rasadi, IT sector

This is the best news to begin the year. It was a challenging task for Oman as there were quite a few strong teams in their group. But, they proved their mettle in the semifinal. The last penalty shot was a proud moment for the team.

Ali al Shayadi, Teacher

This victory has brought joy to people across Oman. It is also an important achievement considering Oman’s FIFA rankings. This win has restored the sultanate’s pride at the regional and Asian levels.

Yahya al Hassani, Government employee

This is a very important victory for Omani sports. The team was well prepared for the tournament and deserved to win the championship. The win is also a motivation for the team to triumph in other tournaments such as the Asian Cup.

When the tournament began did you think Oman would go so far as winning the cup?

Kavita Panda, Homemaker

I was confident of their win from the moment they reached the final. When the Omani team held UAE in the extra time there was no looking back for them in the penalty shootout. They were determined to win. They gave their best and excelled.

Shibani Mishra, Homemaker

I have been in Oman for many years now and have fallen in love with this country. I was supporting Oman throughout and quite nervous during the penalty shootout as it is a very tricky phase. The Omani team put in their heart and soul and finally won. Hard work pays. I will rate them 100 on 100. 

Habib al Zawawi, Deputy manager

Going by their performance in the Asian Cup in 2015, I had doubts if they could make it. I had thought this Gulf Cup would be their worst. But, then they went on to reach the final in the Gulf Cup, my faith in the team was restored. They still have more room to improve. I will rate them 99 out of 100.

Hammad Shamis al Rawahi. Senior surveyor

Yes, Oman has won before. It is a very hardworking team so the win wasn’t a surprise to me.

Tabrez Farooquee, Marketing head

Everyone in Oman including citizens and residents even not into football were following the final. At around 6.30pm on the day of the final, the streets were empty. We were expecting a win and the national team didn’t disappoint.

Mazin Fareed al Zadjali, Deputy manager

Oman always had a chance as football is the national sport and there is a vast pool of talent. Kudos to the players for keeping a cool head and getting us the win.

Oman beat 2018 World Cup qualifier like Saudi Arabia in the tournament. How far do you think it is for Oman to qualify for World Cup?

Hamoud al Habsi, Engineer

We used to depend on Ali al Habsi but we have now got a star in Faiz al Rusheidi. It was great to see the rise of new and young players which is key for Oman to perform better in other bigger tournaments. The next step should be to do well in the Asian Cup. After that they should put in their best to qualify for the World Cup. We would want that to happen as soon as possible but we should also be patient and give time to the team to get better from here.

Waleed al Badi, Job seeker

Oman currently lacks experienced players as most of them are in the age group of 21-23 years. But I am sure more tournaments will give them the experience. Now, they should target the World Cup. Oman should not be compared with Saudi Arabia as they have a stronger football league and the experience of qualifying for bigger tournaments.

Ali al Maawali, Auditor

Due credit should be given to the coach as the team performed exceptionally well in the tournament. I feel the team is getting ready to perform in a similar fashion at other tournaments and should target World Cup 2022.

Mohammad Shikander, Businessman

Oman has the talent to qualify for the 2022 World Cup. It is a country of young people with a vast pool of talent. Even, the Ministry of Sports Affairs is supporting players in a big way.

Saif Uddin, Businessman

Though, Oman has performed exceedingly well in the Gulf Cup, the team has a long way to go before qualifying for bigger tournaments. The Omani team needs more experience by playing with top-flight teams.

Salim Noor, Managing director

I think that it will take some more time for the team to match the likes of Brazil, Argentina and Italy. But, the boys are hardworking and have excelled as a team. They are ambitious.

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