The Oman team played resoundingly well to trump Thailand and are all set for the big final against Bangladesh on Saturday. Oman coach Tahir Zaman said he was pleasantly surprised by the margin of victory against Thailand in the semifinals of the Asian Games Qualifiers hockey on Thursday.
“Well, yes I was quite surprised with the scoreline because initially it looked like it could be a close match. But after we scored three goals in the first quarter, they seemed down and out,’’ he added.
Asked if this game was the team’s best in the tournament so far, Zaman responded in the affirmative.
“Yes, it has been by far the best performance but there are areas where we could have been better and certain things can always be improved,’’ he added.
Looking ahead to the big final on Saturday, Zaman said it will be a tough game.
“Bangladesh will not be an easy side to beat, they are higher-ranked and have some good players in the team. But Inshallah we will give it our best shot and hopefully pull off a victory,’’ the coach stated.
Zaman also said the team is reaping the benefits of working on certain grey areas during the training camp before the tournament.
“Some of the aspects which we had worked on during the training camp like the attacking game and remaining calm during the pressure situations. The defensive tactics and penalty corner conversions, things like that are all seeing some improvements,’’ he added.
Oman are ranked 32nd in the world, two places below the 30th ranked Bangladesh.