Oman stun Iran to enter semis of Asian beach handball

MUSCAT, June 20 –
Oman booked a slot in the semifinal of the seventh Asian Beach Handball Championship as they registered a 2-1 win against Iran on Thursday in a thrilling match. With the impressive victory, Oman topped the Group B which featured also Thailand, Pakistan, Japan and Saudi Arabia.
The Sultanate team will meet Vietnam in the semifinal round on Friday.
Oman players entered the match with a focus to win three points and move ahead to the next level. In the first set, Hamood al Hasani’s men dominated to win it by 14-8. However, Iran staged a strong comeback in the second set to pull one back with a score of 17-14. The Iranian players took advantage of Oman’s mistakes in the defence.
In the deciding set, Oman players kept cool to edge out a fighting Iran 21-20.
In other matches, Qatar beat Vietnam 2-0, Pakistan blanked Japan 2-0, Philippines defeated Chinese Taipei 2-0, Thailand edged Saudi Arabia 2-1 and Afghanistan outplayed Indonesia 2-0.
Oman, coached by Hamood al Hasani, recorded four victories, coming against Saudi Arabia, Japan, Pakistan and Iran. The team suffered one loss to Thailand in this championship.
Oman players are looking to earn one of the direct tickets to the IHF Men’s and Women’s Beach Handball World Championship in Italy in 2020 for a fifth time. The Sultanate played in the Beach Handball Worlds for the first time in 2004. Later, the Sultanate team had registered regular presence since 2010 at the World Championships and the last participation was in Russia in 2018.