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Oman ready to 'punish' Socceroos

Oman captain Ali Al Habsi has warned the Socceroos they face being punished in Friday's World Cup qualifier in Muscat.

The English Premier League goalkeeper delivered the fighting words in his team's pre-match press conference before Friday's kickoff at 5pm (2300 AEST) in expected oppressive conditions.

"Every team that will come to Oman will have very big punishment," Al Habsi said.

The only European-based professional in the Oman team said despite many of his teammates not being professionals they intended to fight to the final whistle.

"They (teammates) play in front of maybe 100 fans in the stadium but that does not mean we are not going to try," said the Wigan Athletic shot-stopper.

"We are going to try our best.

"We will fight until the end."

Oman defeated Australia 1-0 in their last meeting in Muscat last November and the Socceroos are wary of letting slip any points at the start of the final round of qualifying.

Al Habsi said his country of 2.8 million had done well to reach the final stage of qualification but that it would be unfair to expect them to match Australia and Japan over the entire campaign.

"We have to be fair to ourselves, we don't want to compare ourselves with Australia and Japan because we don't have the experience and the players," he said.

Oman coach Paul Le Guen expected Australia and Japan to earn direct qualification from their group for Brazil in 2014.

He said his side were chasing third spot in group B which earns a playoff spot.


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