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Oman in AFC U-16 Championship 2012

By staff - Fri May 11, 3:51 pm

Dutch tour for Oman

Tehran: Playing against strong teams regularly and going on a Netherlands tour are part of the preparation of the Oman team for the AFC U-16 Championship 2012, says coach Pieter Horst (pic).
Speaking after a draw in the host city of Tehran on Thursday that saw the West Asians placed together with Australia, Iraq and Thailand in Group B, the Dutch coach says he believes the preparation will boost the Omanis’ experience.

“To achieve our target of a top-four finish in Iran, we need to play against strong teams on a regular basis,” Horst said.

“The Netherlands tour will come in handy and Oman will gain some valuable experience. It will be a good platform for us.”

Oman will tour the Netherlands from May 26 to June 8 to participate in the 16th Ten Brinke Bouw Tournament in Varsseveld, a 10-team competition featuring five local clubs along with U-17 teams from PSV Eindhoven, Ajax, Borussia Dortmund and Schalke.

The Dutchman sees two main goals for his team and believes a good chance exists for the team to realise them despite being pitted against stronger teams Australia and Iraq.

“We have two main goals for this tournament,” said the former Ajax player. “Our first target is to finish among the top four in the AFC Championship. That’s what we need to qualify for the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup in the UAE.

“Second, to get valuable experience and build the confidence. These will make them reach another level.

“I think it is a fair draw. As you see the draw, Australia and Iraq are stronger than others. But this is football. We never know the result before the end of the match.”

“I think we also have a good chance to go to the next stage.”

Oman, the 1996 edition winners, start their campaign at the Rah Ahan Stadium against Iraq, whose best performance was in the inaugural edition in 1985 where they won the third place.

Tehran: The AFC U-16 Championship 2012 promises to be a hotbed of high-octane youth action that sees four former champions battling it out in Group C as a result of an official draw concluded in the host city of Tehran on Thursday.

Defending champions from the 2010 edition DPR Korea have been pooled together with three two-time champions – 1994 and 2006 champions Japan, 1985’s inaugural edition and 1988 winners Saudi Arabia and Korea Republic who lifted the silverware in 1986 and 2002.

Apart from the ‘Group of Champions’, Group B is another that sees two former winners — Oman (1996) and Thailand (1998) — placed together with two third-place teams in the previous championships, Iraq in 1985 and Australia in 2010.

Hosts and 2008 winners IR Iran will face eighth-ranked Kuwait, 2002 runners-up Yemen, and Laos in Group A, while Group D is the battle front for last edition’s runners-up Uzbekistan, Syria who won the fourth place in 2006, bottom-ranked India, and China PR, the 1992 and 2004 champions.

AFC National Team Competitions Director Shin Man-gil (pic) conducted the official draw.

The 16 finalists have been classified on the basis of the final rankings of the AFC U-16 Championship 2010.

After the group stage on September 22-27, the top two teams from each group (eight teams in total) will qualify for the knockout stage or quarterfinals (September 30) and the four winners of the quarterfinals will play in the semi-finals (October 3) and the winners advance to the final (October 6).

The groups:

Group A
Group B
Group C
Group D
Iran (hosts) Australia DPR Korea Uzbekistan
Kuwait Iraq Japan Syria
Yemen Oman Saudi Arabia China PR
Laos Thailand Korea Republic India

The rankings:

1. IR Iran (Host) 9. China
2. DPR Korea 10. Oman
3. Uzbekistan 11. Saudi Arabia
4. Australia 12. Yemen
5. Japan 13. Thailnad
6. Syria 14. Laos
7. Iraq 15. Korea Republic
8. Kuwait 16. India

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