Saturday, June 10, 2023 | Dhu al-Qaadah 20, 1444 H
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UAE dent Oman hopes to advance into semis


Oman beach soccer team's hopes dashed to progress into semifinals of the ANOC World Beach Games Asian Qualifier as they suffered a 3-2 loss against UAE late on Thursday in Jeddah city, Saudi Arabia.

Coach Talib Hilal's men played one player less in the third period of the match after Yahya al Murkhi left the game due to his second yellow card. In another game, Iran secured a slot in semifinals as they thumped Thailand 7-2 in another quarterfinal clash.

In a late semifinal matched on Friday, hosts Saudi Arabia take on the UAE while Iran meet Japan. Oman will play against Thailand in a play-off to decide the fifth and sixth position in the tournament.

Back to Oman and UAE fixture in the quarterfinal, the runners-up of the Arab Beach Soccer Championship 2023 began the match on a strong note as Abdullah al Souti put Oman ahead in the first set with an acrobatic attempt to end the opening half at 1-0. Coach Talib Hilal's battalion dominated in the second half as Yahya al Murkhi doubled the result to enhance Oman’s lead by 2-0.

UAE’s players later pressed hard to bounce back to the game as they felt the danger sign that the match is going towards opponents Oman. After several attempts, UAE’s Waleed Beshr managed to reduce the scoring gap as he netted the opening goal in the third period of the game. The goal revived the chances of hosts of 2023 Fifa Beach Soccer World Cup as they continued hard work for an equaliser.

The match momentum changed after Oman’s Yahya al Murkhi left the match due to his second yellow card.

Oman team then played with one less player and this was an advantage for the competitor. Abbas Ali managed to score the all-important equaliser before end of the third period of the game to make the result at 2-2. Both teams went to an extra half and Abdullah Abbas scored the winner for his team to end the match at 3-2 and advance UAE to the semifinals of the ANOC World Beach Games Asian Qualifier.

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