Cool Oman race past Lanka, enter semifinal

Muscat, March 10 –
A cool and composed Oman notched a 5-1 win against Sri Lanka in their second match to enter the semifinals of the Asian Games Qualifiers in Muscat on Saturday.
Oman raced to an early lead in the Group B encounter at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex when they struck in the second minute of the match through a brilliant field goal from Salah al Saadi.
In the next minute, Khalid al Shaaibi’s fierce shot went just out of the post. Oman raced the tempo by organising more attacks at the Lankan goal but could not find the target.
Sri Lanka, who were stunned by the early goal, were completely off colour in the first quarter.
The hosts led the first quarter 1-0.
In the second quarter, Khalid al Shaaibi increased the lead in the 28th minute after scoring from the second penalty corner for Oman, which was clinically executed with a smart stop and pass to Khalid which the Lankan defence had no clue.
Mahmoud Bait Shamaiaa netted the third goal for Oman in the 39th minute to give a rousing start to the third quarter.
Basim Khatar Rajab hit the target after dribbling past Sri Lankan defenders in the 44th minute to put Oman in a commanding lead of 4-0.
Salah al Saadi scored his second and the team’s fifth goal in the 51st minute after a miss from Imad al Hasani from an open goal chance a minute earlier.
Sri Lanka finally broke their barren run when Pramudya Fernando scored their first goal of the match in the 56th minute by ticking into the open net left vacant by Oman goalkeeper Fahad al Noufali.
Oman’s Salah al Saadi was awarded the player of the match honour for his twin strikes in the match.

Earlier, Chinese Taipei registered their first win of the tournament beating Kazakhstan 8-3. A brace from Chun-Che Hu (58th, 49th) and Ching-Chieh Hsu (24th, 39th) and a goal apiece from Chin-Kun Liu (7th), Sung-Tin Lu (50th), Tzu-Yu Huang (59th) and An-Szu Li (57th) helped Taipei complete the demolition job.