Oman’s futsal impressed in the last few weeks, as the national university futsal team bagged a runner-up finish in the summit clash of the Arabian University futsal championship against Egypt which concluded on Thursday in Abu Dhabi.
Two weeks back, Oman futsal team secured their place at the AFC Futsal Championship in Turkmenistan in 2020 after beating the UAE 5-1 in the West Zone playoff at the Khalifa Sports City Stadium in Bahrain.
At the Arabian University futsal Championship in Abu Dhabi, the Sultanate team have impressed in all the rounds of the Championship but suffered a 5-2 loss against Egypt in the final. The Saudi team positioned in third place and claimed bronze medals after beating Lebanon team 4-0 in the third place play off.
The nine days tournament which was held in the UAE during October 29 to November 7 featured participation of the 14 countries including Algeria, Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Lebanon, Palestine, Tunisia, Somalia, Jordan, Iraq, Oman and the hosts UAE.
The national university futsal team which is coached under the watchful eyes of the national trainer Sami al Yousufi, delivered solid performance during the tournament. The star of the team, Muhannad al Shubli, claimed the best valuable player in the championship after his essential support for the team to reach the final rounds.
The national university futsal team commenced their campaign in Group B beside the hosts UAE, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Algeria. While Group A comprised of the defending champion Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, Somalia and Yemen.
Sami al Yousufi’s battalion began their first match in the tourney against Iraq and they trashed them 12-1. In the second match, Oman team suffered a 3-2 loss against Saudi Arabia. Them, the Sultanate team back to the winning routes as they defeated Algeria 2-1 while in the fifth match the team held a 3-3 draw against Egypt.
Then, Oman qualified to the knockout stages as they won the hosts UAE 5-3 and positioned in the second place. In the last 16, Oman beat Syria 6-1 to advance to the quarterfinal. The Sultanate team knocked out the defending champion Jordan 1-0 in a thriller. The Oman team secured a spot in the final as they beat Lebanon team 7-2 in the semifinal round. In the final match, the team received a 5-2 loss against the Africa representatives Egypt team.
Apart from the tournament, the executive committee of the Arabian sports federations had their meeting and decided that Muscat will host the Arabian volleyball beach championship in February next year.
Dr Salim Khamis al Oraimi, chairman of Oman University Sports Committee (OUSC) stated that this accomplishment is on the right route as the team to participate in Poland next year in the International University Futsal Championship. “There were many technical benefits for the team participation at this level including positive indications for the player’s ability to challenge top teams in the region. Raising the technical performance level to better and waiving the negative areas,” OUSC chief concluded.