Oman to take on Fiji in HWL opener

Sports Reporter –
MUSCAT: Oman will take on Fiji in their opening match of the second round of Hockey World League (HWL) in Dhaka, Bangladesh from March 4­-12.
The top two teams from each of the three HWL second round events along with the two best-placed sides in the world rankings of the teams that finish third will advance to the semifinals.
Oman, who were runners-up in Round 1 in Antalya, Turkey in September 2016, will compete with seven other teams in Dhaka.
The other teams in HWL Dhaka are Canada, Egypt, hosts Bangladesh, China, Sri Lanka, Ghana and Fiji.
“Canada, Egypt, China and hosts Bangladesh will pose strong challenge for us. We will try our best to finish among the top two,” Oman coach KK Poonacha had said.
Talib al Wahaiby, chairman of Oman Hockey Association (OHA) will attend Oman’s three matches in Dhaka.
“This is a major test for our young side. We hope to come in flying colours after the tournament,” the OHA chief said.
Oman are in impressive form after posting thumping victories during their Malaysian tour.
In Malaca City of Malaysia, Oman started on a sour note after losing 7-2 in their opening match against Malaysian under-21 team. The Sultanate team, however, were playing without their five top players, who suffered food poison for the match.
Oman came back brilliantly in the next four matches, winning all four handsomely.
In their two internationals with the Singapore national team, Oman notched up 4-1 and 5-1 wins. Next, Oman thrashed Maybank Club 6-2 and 4-0 in the last two matches.

Oman team

Muhanna al Hasani, Hamed al Fazari, Ashraf al Nasseri, Mohammed Bait Jandal (captain), Qasim al Shibli, Mahmood Salim Ghashim al Hasani, Shafi al Shatari, Basim Khatar Rajab, Aiman al Kathiri, Salah al Saadi, Khalid al Shaaibi, Ahmed al Balushi, Mohammed al Lawati, Fahad al Noufali (GK), Younis al Nofli, Said al Hasni (GK), Khalid al Batashi

Oman’s schedule in HWL Round 2 Dhaka
Pool A
March 4: Oman v Fiji
March 5: Oman v Malaysia
March 7: Oman v Bangladesh
March 9: Quarterfinals
March 11: Semifinals
March 12: Final