Ahmed Mubarak and Abdullah Hadi netted second-half goals as Oman held on to beat Jordan 2-1 on Tuesday to record their first win in the final round of Asian qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup™.
Mubarak opened the scoring at Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in the 62nd minute before Hadi crucially ghosted in to net the home team's second goal with three minutes remaining.
The home side were made to sweat as Thaer Bawab pulled a goal back in the final minute before Amer Deeb had an effort in stoppage time ruled out for offside to deny Jordan a dramatic comeback.
The opening minutes featured plenty of robust challenges as both sides tried to stamp their authority on the game.
As things settled down, it was the home side that created the better chances. Fawzi Bashir fired a free-kick from 25 yards over the crossbar in the 15th minute and Amad Al Hosni was presented with an opportunity in the Jordanian box five minutes later that was blocked by Anas Bani Yaseen.
Bashir then directed a header straight at goalkeeper Loai Al Amaireh who made another fine save to tip over Raed Saleh's drive from a tight angle before the Jordan custodian also stopped Al Hosni as the Al Ahli striker bore down on goal and fired in a fierce low effort from the right flank.
As half-time approached, Oman laid siege to the Jordan goal with Mohammad Al Dmeiri making a heroic block to keep out an attempt by Bashir in stoppage time.
Apart from a corner by Deeb that hit the Omani post, Jordan had few real opportunities before the break but they almost made a sensational start to the second half as the visiting skipper surged down the right before he centred the ball towards Ahmad Ibrahim who slid in to make contact in the six-yard box but saw his effort go narrowly wide of the far post.
Bawab came on to replace Ibrahim just before the hour mark and he went close to making his mark almost immediately as his shot on the run drew an excellent save from Oman goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi who turned the ball out as it arrowed towards the top right corner of his net.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 62nd minute when Saad Al Mukhaini swung in a corner from the right that was knocked down by Ismail Al Ajmi towards the six-yard box where Mubarak hooked the ball past Al Amaireh with his right foot.
And with three minutes left, Hadi then ghosted in at the far post to fire into the unguarded net after an angled cross from the left had snuck between Al Amaireh and one of his defenders.
But with just seconds of regulation time left the ball was slipped ball through to Bawab who slid the ball past Al Habsi to cut deficit back to one goal.
It set up a grandstand finish as deep into stoppage time, Deeb stabbed ball into the net only to see his effort also ruled out for offside.