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Oman appoint new national coach

© Reuters Limited 2001

MUSCAT, June 21 (Reuters) - Oman have appointed German Bernd Stange as national coach in their bid to qualify for next year's World Cup finals, state television said on Thursday. Stange signed a year-long contract and will replace Czech Milan Macala as head coach. He joins Oman from Australian club Perth Glory, where he has been since 1998.

Stange coached the German Democratic Republic (former East Germany) in 53 full international matches before being dismissed in December 1988 after a poor run of results. His coaching experience includes a stint with East German club Jena and the German Bundesliga club Leipzig in the 1990s.

In April, Macala - on loan from United Arab Emirates club Al-Nasr - led Oman to the second phase of the Asian World Cup qualifiers for the first time. Oman topped Asian group one, which included Laos, Philippines and Syria, with 16 points from six games to qualify for the final round.

The team has been drawn in group B with the UAE, Uzbekistan, Qatar and China. The winner will qualify automatically for the finals in Japan and South Korea, with the runner-up heading into the play-offs.

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