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11 Dec 2010
Groups A and B get tighter
The biggest powerhouses did not stumble today either. Oman and UAE fielded their strength and earned their sixth points to stay on top of the tables in group B and A, respectively. But the victories by Syria and Yemen turn into really meaningful the upcoming last matchday, in which everything will be decided. The only thing that this fourth day in Muscat can tell for sure is that Qatar and Kuwait are out after failing to collect any point in their two matches so far.
Yemen could get even with their bad beginning in the tournament and bended Uzbekistan to snatch their first three points in this II Asian Beach Games. With this victory, besides, Group A gets more cramped, and the teams getting to the quarterfinals will not be known until next Saturday, with the last group Matchday. Although the game was really balanced, and the Uzbeks even managed the opener, Yemen took advantage of a great second period to give the match their desired direction. With the score favouring them, Saif’s team handled the minutes efficiently, and goals by Haidar, Naseer and Mohammed made the score 6-3, yet too hard for the Uzbek squad with only two minutes to go. Although there was little time left, the crowd in the Al-Musannah venue got a last present, a wonderful left-foot volley that Azizoz sent to the goalmouth to close the game in the best mood.
Syria could only restore themselves after the opening defeat against hosts Oman. Indonesia had to pay the piper today, and they were faced to an emphatic result of 0-4 down. The Syrian captain, Biaziz, became the local hero scoring a valuable hat-trick for his team, and joins this way the race for the Top Scorer award. Although the final score was significant enough, it was not that easy for Syria to earn a good rent. It was almost under the first horn that Biazid earned his first hit, and not before the last three minutes of the second period that Chlhoum made it 2-0. The Indonesian resistance became weaker in the last 12 minutes, allowing Syrian number 11 for two new goals to finally finish the clash. So, with both contenders tied with three points, we are driven to a meaningful last group stage matchday, in which the ones to go ahead to the next round will be appointed.
UAE played again their role as one of the favourites for the medals. Although it was Qatar the ones to surprisingly inaugurate the counter, Mendes’s team could turn things around before the first break, with two hits by goalkeeper Jamal and Karim Al Balooshi. From then on, no more worries happened near the UAE’s nets and the ball spent most of the time near the Qatari box. The Emirates team controlled the game and distributed their strokes to finally knock their opponents down with two new goals by Rajad and Ranjbar, in every of the two remaining periods. After this result, UAE keeps on top of Group A, but a last matchday will be necessary to finally sort out the two tickets to quarterfinals.
In turn, Oman and the Athletes from Kuwait closed this fourth matchday, clashing amid an amazing atmosphere. The Al Musannah Beach Soccer Stadium was fully crowded with more than 3.000 people cheering out loud for a host victory, and Talib’s lads did not let them down. It took some time, though, for the Omani to get started, but once they found the way to the net, they got through it up to three times in a couple of minutes. Jalal’s left canon, Hani and a magic personal move by Yagoob made the score 3-0 before the Kuwaiti had even time to figure out what was happening... Oman kept attacking and had enough chances to finish the game, but they could not score again before the first break.
That break was exactly what Kuwait needed to take a breath, see whatever was happening, and jump again onto the field with things clearer on their minds. Things worked quite well for them at the beginning: They settled back efficiently and managed to stop the Omani attacking frenzy. Then, they looked forward and that merited them shortening the distance, thanks to a header by Mubarack in a corner kick. But this slap meant nothing beyond the waking up of the home forces again. Faysal and Yagoob made the score an almost unreachable 5-1. In Beach Soccer, though, you can hardly tell a game is over until the final whistle, and the Athletes from Kuwait charged again, with a new goal by Aleid. That could mean the beginning of something, but two minutes afterwards, Jalal widened the distance again before the break. Kuwait were not to throw in the towel, and they kept struggling till the end. But time was not enough for them despite the two hits by Al Jaser, and they see themselves out of the quarterfinal stage.
Matches for tomorrow:
Match Day Five (12 December 2010)
Match 17 - 15:00 - Thailand vs. Lebanon
Match 18 - 16:15 - Vietnam vs. Palestine
Match 19 - 17:30 - Iran vs. Japan
Match 20 - 18:45 – Bahrain vs. China