Thursday, October 21, 2021 | Rabi' al-awwal 14, 1443 H
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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Oman aim for good start
Sultanate meet Portugal in Beach Soccer WC today

Oman national beach soccer team will seek for a good start at the Fifa Beach Soccer World Cup Russia 2021 as they commence the campaign with a tough match against title holders Portugal in the opener on Friday. The match will start at 8 pm (Oman time) in Group D at the iconic Luzhniki Beach Soccer Stadium. In another Group D match, Uruguay will face Senegal at 4 pm at the same venue.


The Sultanate team has prepared for the showpiece event with series of domestic and overseas camps besides many friendlies.


Experienced head coach Talib Hilal, who is leading the team for the fourth consecutive time in the World Cup, will be looking for different show this time.


A recent short overseas camp had concluded in Russia on a successful note. Oman had played three friendly matches in Russia and the first preparatory fixture ended in favour for Talib Hilal’s men 3-2. The goals were scored by Khalid al Oraimi, Salim al Oraimi and Nouh al Zadjali. The Sultanate’s team managed to register second successive win against Paraguay 3-1 in the second friendly game. The third friendly encounter ended in a 2-2 draw against Edirnespor FC club.


The Oman team also underwent camps in Ukraine and the UAE. Both international camps featured many friendly games.


The national team is looking for a positive result and snatching full three points against a strong Portugal team.


In the previous edition of the Beach Soccer World Cup in Paraguay, Oman lost to Portugal 3-1.


This time, Oman players will target a win which will get them close to the second round which is the initial aim for the team.


Coach Talib Hilal’s men could not advance to quarterfinals in the previous three editions of the Beach Soccer World Cup. Hilal will focus on some experienced players who took part in many World Cup editions including Yahya al Oraimi, Jalal al Sinani and Khalid al Oraimi besides new talented faces including Nouh al Zadjali and his teammates.


Oman are placed in Group D with title holders Portugal, Uruguay and Senegal at Fifa Beach Soccer World Cup Russia 2021. The hosts Russia, lead Group A alongside with Asian representatives Japan, the United States and Paraguay. Runners-up of the 2019 AFC Beach Soccer Asian Cup, UAE, were grouped with Mozambique, Spain and Tahiti in Group B.


The Sultanate team will meet Uruguay on Sunday while the concluding group fixture is against Senegal on Tuesday. As many as 16 teams are taking part in the top beach soccer event. The top two teams from each four groups will advance into the quarterfinals which will begin on August 26 while semifinals are scheduled on August 28 and final on August 29.


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