(Reuters) - Oman coach Paul Le Guen praised his team’s “perfect” mental state after they beat Uzbekistan 2-0 to reach a playoff against Senegal for a place at this year’s Olympic soccer tournament.
With Uzbekistan scraping past Syria 2-1 and Oman frustrated 1-1 by the same opponents, the former Soviet republic needed only a draw in Thursday’s final in Hanoi.
However, Oman tore up the script, a 16th-minute penalty from Hussain Al Hadhri and a second goal from Raed Ibrahim Saleh in first-half stoppage time proving enough.
“I am very proud of my players and we deserved this,” Le Guen said after putting his side within touching distance of a place at the London Olympics.
“The first game was very good and this game was more difficult but our state of mind was perfect. It was a great performance from us to win 2-0.”
Oman finished with 10 men after Eid Al Farsi was sent off for a dangerous challenge on Uzbek defender Sherzod Azamov with 16 minutes left.
But it failed to have an impact and Oman will now play Senegal on April 23 in Coventry, England, for a place at the London Games.