MUSCAT, MARCH 20
The Oman beach soccer team achieved their second successive victory after defeating Kuwait 5-1 on Sunday at Jamtim Arena in Pattaya, in the second round of Group D competitions in the 2023 AFC Beach Soccer Cup in Thailand.
With this win, the Omani team secured their qualification to the quarterfinals and took the lead in the group standings with six points from two matches. Kuwait and Palestine are tied for second place with three points each, while Kyrgyzstan are yet to earn any points.
The Omani team entered the game with a strong lineup consisting of Younis al Owaisi as goalkeeper, Mishaal al Araimi, Khaled al Araimi, Yahya al Mreiki, and Abdullah al Souti.
Yahya al Muraiki scored the first goal in the first minute, followed by an equaliser by Kuwait's Omar al Rouqi in the fifth minute.
In the second half, the course of the match changed when Sami al Balushi managed to score the second goal in the eighth minute with a wonderful scissor-cut shot. Two consecutive goals by Khaled al Araimi followed in the 13th and 14th minutes via direct free kicks, which the Kuwaiti national team goalkeeper Omar Darwish was unable to block. Then, Abdullah Masoud concluded the series of goals for the Omani team with a fifth goal in the 28th minute.
In another Group D clash, Palestine won against Kyrgyzstan 3-2 during the second match on Sunday at the same stadium.
The top two teams from each of the four groups will qualify for the quarterfinals, with matches to be held on March 22 and 23. The final match will take place on March 26.
TALIB HAILS TEAM PERFORMANCE
After the match, Talib Bin Hilal, coach of the Omani national beach soccer team, expressed satisfaction with the team's performance. He stated: "It was a good match. We showed up well and were able to achieve the victory that qualified us for the second round. We fought to win and missed many chances, but the performance was good, and this is positive."
Talib also highlighted the team's collective performance and the importance of all players. He said: "I do not distinguish between one player and another, all players are equal and perform collectively, and this is one of the secrets of our superiority."
Looking ahead to the next match against Palestine, Talib acknowledged the team's strength but remained optimistic about their chances. "The Palestinian national team is distinguished, but I cannot predict the result. Tomorrow we will start our preparations, and of course, the tactics will differ. We strive to top the group."
Talib also added that all teams that reach the quarterfinals are potential title contenders.