ALI Al Habsi will be back in Wigan at the start of next week after Oman’s Asia Cup dream fell at the first hurdle.
Al Habsi and his colleagues were soundly beaten 4-0 by Australia yesterday, their second defeat in a row after narrowly losing 1-0 to South Korea in their opening game.
It means Saturday’s final group clash against Kuwait is already a dead rubber, with both sides having lost their two matches.
The other encounter between Australia and South Korea – who both boast 100 per cent record sheading in – will decide who tops the group.
Australia, the tournament hosts, require just a point after also hammering Kuwait, who provided a far sterner test to the South Koreans.
Oman were never in with a shout against a rampant Socceroos outfit.
Goals from Matt McKay, Robbie Kruse and Mark Milligan (penalty) made it 3-0 by half-time, and Tomi Juric added icing to the cake in the second period.
Al Habsi will end up having missed only two Latics games – last weekend’s trip to Birmingham and next Saturday’s visit of Blackburn Rovers.