Saturday, April 13, 2024 | Shawwal 3, 1445 H
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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Oman finish runners-up in Arab beach soccer

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Oman beach soccer team suffered a 4-2 defeat against Egypt late on Saturday in the final clash of the Arab Beach Soccer Championship 2023 to finish as runners-up. The victory gave Egypt their second title after they won the trophy in 2014. The 10 days tournament, which concluded in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, featured participation of 12 teams distributed into three groups.


Hosts Saudi Arabia led Group A alongside Mauritania, Morocco and Lebanon while Oman were grouped with Palestine, Kyrgyzstan and Egypt in Group B. The Group C featured the UAE, Libya, Kuwait and Comoros.


After the final match, Oman players received silver medals while the winners Egypt players collected the gold medals and lifted the title.


The match started strongly from both teams as they were seeking for the title. Yahya al Murkhi scored the opening goal for Oman after entering in the box and hitting a strong ball to the net. Egypt’s Hassan Hussain equalised as he tried to send a ball from long distance to end the first half at 1-1.


In the following half, the opponents were the better side as they controlled the match. Hassan Hussain returned back to take his team in lead by registering the second goal while Ismail AbdulQudoos made the score 3-1 as he netted the third goal. Before the end of second half whistle, Egypt players benefited from the mistakes in the back side as Haitham Mahsoob scored the fourth goal to take it to 4-1. In the third and last half, coach Talib Hilal's men pressed hard to register a return back to the match but the only goal from Khalid al Oraimi was not enough as the match ended at 4-2.


Oman beach soccer team secured slot in the quarters after qualifying from the group as second behind the toppers Egypt. Oman recorded two victories in the group stage against Palestine and Kyrgyzstan while they suffered a loss against Egypt. In the quarterfinals, Oman beat UAE 5-4 to book a berth in semis. Then, Oman team defeated Morocco 4-2 in the semifinals to confirm their attendance in the final match.


Oman team, coached by longserving national coach Talib Hilal, will begin few days later the preparation for the ANOC qualifiers and then for the world assignment. The recently concluded tournament in Saudi Arabia acted as thrilling stage for the team’s preparation for the Fifa Beach Soccer World Cup UAE 2023 which will take place in UAE during November 16 to 26. Hilal’s men will eye on posting a top show in the world class event and register positive results.


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