Kazan, July 25 – Oman secured spot in the second round of the Beach Handball World Championships in Russia as they beat Qatar 2-1 on Wednesday.
Hamood al Hasani’s men finished the first set ahead with 20-18. Qatar came back strongly in the second set to win it 21-15, whereas the national team players’ level dropped. In the deciding third set, Hani al Deghashi scored the last penalty and Oman won it 15-14. The Sultanate team may play either against Brazil, Sweden or Russia teams as they got the direct qualifications cards to the next round on Thursday. From Group C, Qatar still topped the group despite the defeat and Denmark was second and Oman third on goal differences although all three had four points. Australia were out without any points.
An official opening ceremony was held at Kazan handball yard in presence of chairman of Olympic committee late on Tuesday. Hamood al Hasani, head coach of Oman team, opined that players performed a very crucial performance and showed one of the best matches at the world championship. He added that players gained a lot from the last camp in Croatia and that reflected to their technical level. “The team showed very good performance against the Asian giants and third ranked world cup team, Qatar,” the coach said. “I hope team to continue with same technical level performance in further matches. If that occurs then Oman can reach to very advanced stages of the world championships,” Al Hasani concluded.
Amer al Hajri, head of the Sultanate delegation, stated that qualification of the team came after a great effort from players and technical committee. “Players performed well in all matches and specially against Qatar team. Now, we have to think for the next round and prepare ourselves for upcoming match. I hope the national team to continue as same level till the end of the championship,” Al Hajri added. Other teams to enter the main round were Croatia, Spain, Hungary, IR Iran, Uruguay, and Vietnam. Reigning world champions Croatia have demonstrated a full advantage over the rivals in Group A. On Wednesday, Croats gained an upper hand over the team of IR Iran and won the game with a score of 2-0, earning maximum points – 6.
In another game of Group A, Uruguay defeated Argentina — 2-1 and did not let the rivals to make it to the main round. Reigning European champions Spain also confirmed their status of favourites in Group B. On Day 2, the Spanish team defeated Hungary 2-1, that allowed the Spanish to gain 6 points after 3 matches. Vietnam did not let the players of New Zealand to continue their way to the next round. The Asian team won the match 2-1.