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Oman take on UAE in key ANOC Asian qualifier

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MUSCAT: Oman beach soccer team will begin their campaign in the ANOC Asian qualifiers as they will meet UAE in a crucial clash on Thursday. The match will kick off at 8:15 (Oman time).

The qualifiers will be hosted in Jeddah city, Saudi Arabia and three days qualifiers meet will feature participation of six teams including hosts Saudi Arabia, UAE, Iran, Thailand, Japan and Oman. In another deciding fixture, Iran will take on Thailand.

The winner of Oman and UAE match will advance to the semifinals and the same for Iran and Thailand encounter.

Asian heavyweights Japan and hosts Saudi Arabia confirmed their spots in the semifinals based on the Fifa world ranking while Saudi Arabia were ranked first as they are the hosts. Japan will meet the winner of Iran and Thailand game while Saudi Arabia will take on the winner of Oman and UAE fixture.

Oman team, coached by the long-serving national head coach of Oman beach soccer team, Talib Hilal, will chase a historic qualification to the ANOC World Beach Games Bali 2023. Oman players missed their attendance in the first edition of the ANOC World Beach Games in Doha in 2019 which featured teams of Japan, Iran and UAE. Iran had ended the competition as the runners-up as the final match finished in favour of champions Russia.

Oman and UAE match will be an open book for the both teams as they met several times during the last two months. Both head coaches are well known with playing system and weakness areas. It is expected to be a thrilling knockout match.

Oman beach soccer team recently ended their participation at the Arab Beach Soccer Championship 2023 on a successful note. Coach Talib Hilal’s men finished the championship as runners-up as they lost to Egypt 4-2 last Saturday in the final game of the championship.

Oman team’s campaign in the Arabian event began with a strong start as they thrashed Palestine 7-1 and then they received a shock 5-3 loss against Egypt before registering an astounding 14-0 victory over Kyrgyzstan in the last group match to secure spot in the quarterfinals and qualifying from the group as second behind toppers Egypt.

In the quarterfinals, Oman beat UAE 5-4 to book a berth in the semifinals. Then, Oman team defeated Morocco 4-2 in the semifinals to confirm their attendance in the final match. Egypt beat Oman 4-2 in the final.

The recently concluded Arab beach soccer championship 2023 and the underway ANOC Asian qualifiers will act as a significant step for Oman’s team preparation for the Fifa Beach Soccer World Cup UAE 2023 which will be hosted by Dubai during November 16 to 26. Oman are ranked 14th internationally in the latest Fifa world ranking and will be looking to claim maximum technical output ahead of the world class tournament.

OMAN SQUAD: Khaid al Araimi, Mishaal al Araimi, Munthir al Araimi, Abdullah al Souti, Amjad al Hamadani, Nouh al Battashi, Younis al Owaisi, Sami al Balushi, Yahya al Muraikhi, Abdulrahman al Fazari, Nouh al Zadjali, Ahmed al Owaisi, Iyad al Alawi and Al Yaqdhan al Hindasi.

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