Reading 0-2 Oman
Oman 2 (Alajmi 34,
Reading 0 Ali Albusaidi 83
However as Nigel Adkins’ men committed men forward in search of an equaliser, they were caught on the counter attack as Ali Albusaidi fired home convincingly from 12 yards.
Reading, who fielded 18 year old full back Shane Griffin from the start, endeavoured to fight back – with Royston Drenthe and substitute Jordan Obita both coming close to restoring parity.
Plenty of Royals players got a run out against a slick national side, who took the lead when Ismail Alajmi’s effort wrong footed Stuart Taylor and crept inside the post.
An impressive Oman side ran out 2-0 winners in the challenge match at Madejski Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Reading1 Adam Federici, 54 Sean Long, 46 Matthew Partridge, 40 Lawson D'Ath, 25 Jake Taylor, 55 Shepherd Murombedzi, 44 Dominic Samuel, 21 Alex McCarthy
Subs not used
(37 Jordan Obita)4 Jem Karacan (58 Aaron Tshibola), 23 Danny Williams, 10 Royston Drenthe (36 Gozie Ugwu), 9 Adam Le Fondre (22 Nick Blackman), 7 Pavel Pogrebnyak,41 Stuart Taylor, 3 Stephen Kelly, 53 Shane Griffin, 15 Sean Morrison (C), 5 Alex Pearce, 20 Danny Guthrie (16 Hope Akpan)
1 Muhanad Alzaabi, 17 Hussain Alghailani (C), 11 Saad Almukhani, 19 Ali Salem (2 Manaa Almukhaini), 3 Mohamme Alrawahi, 4 Ali Aljabri, 8 Eid Alfarsi, 6 Raed Ibrahim, 15 Ismail Alajmi (12 Abdullah Saleh), 10 Ali Albusaidi, 7 Mohammed Alsyabi 21 Mohammed Almashari,
Subs not used
22 Ahmed Alqalhaji, 13 Abdullsalam Almukhaini, 9 Fahad Aljalbobi, 20 Sami Alhasni
Booked: Ali Salem
Oman certainly showed quality in the opening stages, with Stuart Taylor gathering an early drive at the second attempt – before Mohammed Alsyabi curled over from 25 yards.
At the other end a superb cross field pass from Jem Karacan was drilled into the chest of Royston Drenthe, who cut inside before launching a daisy cutter just wide from the edge of the area.
Sean Morrison then headed wide a Drenthe set piece, though the offside flag was raised anyway as the skipper arrived at the far post.
You couldn’t keep the Dutchman out of the action, as the former Real Madrid man was sent through on goal by Danny Williams with 31 minutes on the clock – only to curl his effort wide of Alzaabi’s post.
However it was the Omani’s who took the lead against the run of play, as Ismail Alajmi’s shot wrong footed Taylor before creeping inside the post.
A corner almost gave the Royals parity straight away as it whipped across goal before somehow evading both Pearce and Morrison, whilst Alajmi could have grabbed a second before the break as his cross come shot was tipped away by Taylor.
Picking up where he left off, Drenthe was Reading’s spark in the second half as he weaved into the box before forcing Alzaabi into a save ten minutes after the break – whilst Le Fondre also dragged wide from the left hand side.
With their tails up, the Royals went again. Smart work by substitute Jordan Obita fed fellow replacement Nick Blackman, who saw his effort slide the wrong side of the post.
Obita was causing all kinds of problems for the Omani backline, weaving to the byline once more before sending a cross into the six yard box that somehow zipped past onrushing forwards Gozie Ugwu and Nick Blackman.
Young winger Obita was taking on Drenthe’s sizzling mantle, yet again memorising his marker before forcing a great save out of the visiting stopper as his dipping effort was tipped over the bar.
You couldn’t keep the wideman out the game, as he whipped another dangerous cross in for Pearce – who could only miscue his header way off target.
The home side were in the ascendancy, though Oman continued to look dangerous on the break, with Ali Albusaidi shooting just wide with 14 minutes remaining.
Gozie Ugwu met an Obita corner six yard from goal in the 82nd minute, but under extreme pressure could only head over the bar.
Williams then connected well with an Ugwu knock down 20 yards from goal, but once again Alzaabi was equal to the challenge – before the impressive Omani number one went on to deny Akpan by clinging to a left footed volley.
However the home side’s attacking intent would cost them, as on the break the national side sealed a victory in the 83rd minute – Ali Albusaidi smashing home after an initial effort cannoned back off the post.
Still Obita looked to fight his side back into contention, skimming the woodwork with a drilled right footed effort in injury time – but ultimately the visitors held on for a clean sheet and to take a victory in the inaugural challenge match between the two sides.