Oman sack coach

Another Asian Cup group opponent of the Socceroos has cut ties with their coach just five months out from the tournament.

Another Asian Cup group opponent of the Socceroos has cut ties with their coach just five months out from the tournament.

Oman have sacked their Czech coach Milan Macala with the country's Football Association saying it had been disappointed with the team's performance in last month's Gulf Cup, where Oman lost to the UAE in the final in Abu Dhabi.

Local coach Hamad Al Azani has been installed as interim manager.

Oman face Australia, hosts Thailand and Iraq in Group A of the Asian Cup starting in July.

Thailand also parted ways with their coach earlier this month, with Chanvit Phalajivin resigning to join Vietnamese club Dong Thap. Trainer Thongsuk Sabpahangsith has taking over the reins for the Asian Cup.

Australia play Oman in their first Asian Cup game in Bangkok on July 8.

Macala was appointed Oman coach in 2002 and guided the gulf state to their maiden Asian Cup appearance in China in 2004 as wel as twice leading the side to runners-up in the Gulf Cup.

He was at the helm as Oman qualified for this year's AFC competition to be hosted in Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia.

Oman finished second in qualifying Group C behind the UAE.

Macala left the Oman post for a year in 2005 when he guided UAE's Al Ain club to the final of the AFC Champions League, losing to Saudi side Al Ittihad in the decider.

Al Azani will lead the Oman Olympic team in Wednesday's 2008 Beijing Olympic qualifier against Indonesia, the AFC web site said.
Source: Reuters