Thursday, December 08, 2022 | Jumada al-ula 13, 1444 H
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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Oman beat Uzbeks to qualify for Asian Games

Oman to meet Indonesia in semifinal today

World No 23 Oman thumped Uzbekistan 6-3 in their final Pool A match of 2022 Asian Games hockey qualifiers in Thailand capital of Bangkok on Thursday to make it to the finals of Hangzhou Asian Games.


In Pool A, Oman finished on top with 12 points from 4 matches and will meet Pool B second-placed Indonesia in the semifinal on Friday.


Pool B toppers Bangladesh will take on hosts Thailand in the second semifinal.


Thailand finished second in Pool A behind Oman with five points. Though Uzbekistan also have five points, the hosts were through to the semifinals by virtue of a better goal average.


In the other matches, Indonesia beat Sri Lanka 3-1 and Bangladesh edged Singapore 1-0 in Pool B.


Hong Kong and Thailand ended 1-1 in Pool A.


Bangladesh topped Pool B with nine points from three matches, while Indonesia grabbed four points from three matches to finish second.


Oman won all their matches in the group. Oman blanked Kazakhstan 3-0 in their opening match and followed up with a 5-1 thrashing of Hong Kong and a close 1-0 win over Thailand.


Oman started in brisk fashion against Uzbeks who needed a win to make it to the last four.


Asaad al Qasmi opened the scoring with a brilliant field goal in the fifth minute.


Fahad al Lawati added another field goal in the 11th minute to make it 2-0 for Oman.


Star player Rashad al Fazari chipped in with a stylish goal in the beginning of the second quarter to make it 3-0 at the half-time break.


STRONG SHOW


Oman cushioned their lead to 4-0 in the 34th minute as Aseel al Maini found the target.


Uzbekistan came back into the match in the 44th minute when Shokhrukhbek Salimjonov struck from a penalty corner.


Oybek Nazarov kept the temp for the Uzbeks with a nice field goal in the 50th minute as score read 4-2.


Shavkatbek Mirzakarimov struck the target in the next minute as Uzbeks came close with 4-3.


Al Fazari retained control for Oman in the 55th minute with another field goal to make it 5-3.


Aseel al Maini's field goal with two minutes to end the match made it beyond the reach of Uzbeks as Oman prevailed 6-3 to reach the last four.


Oman manager Mohammed al Batrani expressed happiness in the national team’s qualification for the Asian Games.


"The players have put up brilliant show with the good support of the technical and administrative teams of the Oman Hockey Association," Al Batrani said.


The Asian Games Qualifiers, which began on May 7 in Bangkok, will conclude on May 15.


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