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15 Dec 2010
Fratricidal UAE-Oman for the Asian Gold
Neighbours UAE and Oman will face tomorrow in a fratricidal clash for the gold medal in these II Asian Beach Games. The Gulf squads have finally merited their place into the final after bending surprising China and fearsome Iran in the semifinals today.
The game between UAE and China began in an impossible-to-expect-for-a-semifinal frenetic pace. In the very kick-off move, UAE would be swept in front, thanks to number 9 Al Balooshi, but the Chinese would grab a hold of their artillery, and a rocket by Qui would bring the equalizer. But UAE were today seemingly specialized in kick-off moves, and they immediately got ahead again after the Chinese hit. It was only the second minute and the score was already 2-1. After that, though, it would remain untouched for many minutes, and it was not until the 8th in the second period that UAE would prove they are not bereft of missiles either, and Sadequi would raise the 3-1 with a powerful right-foot stroke meters away from the Chinese net.
UAE would almost definitely finish all Chinese possibilities with a fourth goal right at the beginning of the third quarter. Hassan would be quicker and smarter than any of his markers and got before all of them to a rebound by the Chinese goalkeeper to slot it in. And, just in case the opponents’ morale was a bit too powerful, Sadequi closed the curtain of the game with the fifth Arabian goal. That was the end of the road to the final for the Chinese team, who nevertheless will have the chance to fight for the bronze tomorrow. On the other side of the coin, the UAE are absolutely entitled to go through the golden door, securing who will get back to their country with a metal hanging from their necks. The only thing they have to find out tomorrow, in the final against hosts Oman, is if it is going to be the gold, or the silver.
In the other semifinal, Oman has not betrayed any expectation from their passionate supporters, and has made their way to the final after solidly bending one of the favourites to claim the gold, Iran. The Omanis feel as powerful as never before when playing in front of their noisy and vivid crowd, and they have given no chance to their opponent. Yahya swept his team in front with a long range shot, confirming Oman as a real specialist in getting ahead in the score and building their victories with the advantage already in their hands. Things worked absolutely that way for them today, too. The goal, notwithstanding, did not unlevel the balanced possession ant chance count, with both teams sharing the ball and putting into serious problems the other one’s goalie.
Oman would not hit again until the second period, when a wonderful volley by Yaqoob caught the Iranian goalkeeper by surprise for the 0-2. As time went by, hosts were feeling more and more comfortable, and would manage to finish the game with two new goals, by Hani and Yahya. Iran was out of the final, but they wanted, at least, to spoil Salim’s clean sheets with a free kick goal almost under the horn. Oman, then, will be in tomorrow’s final, facing neighbor UAE to keep the continental gold at home.
Last Matchday (16.12.10)
13:45 China – Iran
15: 00 UAE – Oman