The Oman beach soccer team sealed a place in the Fifa Beach Soccer World Cup UAE 2023 after thrashing China 11-0 in quarterfinals of AFC Beach Soccer Asian Cup on Thursday. The emphatic win meant, Oman beach soccer heroes will take on Iran, who blanked Bahrain 10-0, in the semifinal showdown which will take place on Saturday. Oman’s hopes are high now to rekindle their memories by clinching a second continental title following their 2015 success.
It will be the fifth attendance for Oman in the Fifa Beach Soccer World Cup as the first presence was in Ravenna city in Italy in 2011 and in Portugal in 2015. The third participation of the team was at the Beach Soccer World Cup in Paraguay in December 2019 while the fourth attendance was in August 2021 in Russia. During all the previous editions, the team was under supervision of the long-serving national coach, Talib Hilal.
In the quarterfinal encounter against China, coach Talib Hilal’s men produced a sizzling display that approved Oman’s dominance in beach soccer.
Mashal al Oraimi gave Red Warriors a three-minute lead with a strong grounded free-kick past China keeper Song Song. Abdullah al Souti found the back of the net to double the lead with the second goal. Mashal was back again to continue the goalscoring spree by striking the third goal before Sami al Balushi struck a crucial goal to make it 4-0.
Ahmed al Owaisi etched his name on the scoresheet as he netted the fifth goal while Sami returned back strongly to score his second goal and sixth for the team. Oman players gave China no breathing space as Abdullah al Souti scored Oman’s seventh goal while new face Al Yaqdhan al Hindasi found the net to score the eighth goal. Ahmed al Owaisi and Al Mundher al Oraimi netted the ninth and tenth goals respectively in style while Sami al Balushi completed his hat-trick to make it 11-0.
Post the match, experienced coach Talib Hilal said in the press conference: ”The team and players delivered one of the top games in the tournament so far. I am very pleased with the overall technical performance delivered by the team’s stars. They played very well and displayed excellent discipline and scored 11 goals without conceding any.
“One of our objectives was achieved by advancing to the Fifa World Cup. Our current focus is now shifted to achieve and win our second Asian title after the first one in 2015. Taking part in the Fifa World Cup, it is totally different experience and I am extremely pleased to be at global event for our fifth time in history to meet different top teams representing different footballing schools. Our target would be to reach further than the second round,” he added.
“There are new faces in the squad and it’s good for them to get the right exposure and experience. The team players know the importance of the Asian tournament and they wanted to do something special and they managed to deliver one of the top targets. We trained very hard before attending this event. We played against the best in the world including top teams like Iran, Ukraine and Russia. This assisted a lot the players to shape their technical skills and build up the confidence," he concluded.