Haridev Pushparaj –
Muscat, jan 19 –
Hosts Oman were given a real scare before managing to salvage a 1-1 draw against Bahrain in their second group match of the 2nd CISM World Cup football championship at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex on Wednesday.
Ismael Hasan gave Bahrain the lead with a superb free kick in the 33rd minute while it took a supremely sublime effort from Jameel Darwees al Yahmadi for Oman to level scores in the 55th minute of the game.
Oman now have four points from two games and will play France in their last group match on Friday.
Oman began with the busy Saad Suhail getting himself straightaway into action. Bahrain were defending well initially and blocking the flanks for Suhail and Mohammad Musalami.
Bahrain’s Ismael Hasan garnered the first opportunity of the match as he smashed his shot on target but Oman goalkeeper Fayez Essa al Rashidi made a good save in the 10th minute.
Oman wasted a corner in the 17th minute that Suhail took and struck the ball long off the box.
In the 20th minute, Bahrain rued another chance that went down when Mohamed al Romaih’s shot went wide off the near post.
But the breakthrough moment arrived when Oman’s Mohammed Abdullah al Balushi was shown a yellow card for a foul on Al Romaih.
Ismael Hasan then converted the resultant free-kick in the 33rd minute to help Bahrain take a shock 1-0 lead.
Oman got a couple of chances before half-time, one that had Hareb Jameel al Saadi’s shot that missed the near post marginally in the 39th minute and in the 41st minute Al Yahmadi’s jab off a Hareb cross was wide, but the hosts struggled to finish on both occasions.
After the resumption, Oman eagerly looked for an equaliser with some swift moves.
However, Bahrain began proceedings well earning a free kick in the 49th minute. Mohammad Adeel’s shot found its way close to the goal but slightly wide off the near post.
Oman’s agony continued as in the 51st minute, Al Yahmadi and Mohammad Ahmed Teqi missed a simple tap-in off Abdulaziz al Muqbali’s cross.
It was the 55th minute that brought the sizeable home crowd to life when Jameel Darwees al Yahmadi struck a wondrous right-footer 20 yards out in the 55th minute as Oman drew level.
Thereafter, Oman struggled to find cohesion in the midfield and missed some opportunities. Al Muqbali’s improvised tap-in off a Mohammad al Mashari cross in the 71st minute was off the goal by a whisker.
Oman wanted to enforce things as the game wore on and in the 77th minute, Al Muqbali was substituted by coach Muhanna Said as Saud Khamees al Farsi came in.
Saud was rightaway into action as he struck a left footer after being fed a through ball by Al Yahmadi that was a little wide off the near post.
In the 84th minute, Oman made another substitution as Ahmed Teqi was replaced by Yasin Khaleel al Shyadi but none of the changes worked as the match ended in a tame 1-1 draw.