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13 Dec 2010
UAE, Yemen, Syria and Oman are the last quarterfinalits!
It was not until the last matches today that teams in groups A and B secured their access to this II Asian Beach Games quarterfinals. Whereas everything was clear in Groups C and D, with Iran, Japan, Bahrain and China waiting for opponents, UAE, Yemen, Syria and Oman needed to win their games today to be guaranteed they will fight for the semifinals. Finally, after the thrilling games today, UAE and Oman top the table in their groups, followed by Syria and Yemen.
Everything could have been different in Group A, though. UAE needed the penalty shootout to snatch the points, and they were really close to be left without (3 (1)-3 (0). Mendes’ team even found themselves 1-3 down against Uzbekistan, and they found things really difficult to secure their final first place in the group. After an agonizing last minute equalizer, the score did not move during extra time, and the penalty spot roulette smiled this time to the big guys.
In turn, Yemen finished the work they had begun against the Uzbeks with a solid victory against Qatar (3-6), and will also be in the next round. Although they found 0-2 down in the score, a great 0-6 run during the following two periods put them almost out of reach for the Qatari side. The latter distance-cutter by Ali Shaq was absolutely meaningless for them at that point.
Regarding group B, hosts Oman left little room for hesitation, and they consistently secured their slot in the quarterfinals with a powerful display in their goal-packed fixture against Indonesia (9-4). A 3-0 run in the first minutes, with two rockets by Yahya and Jalal that almost tore the net, left them comfortably up front. The Indonesian cut the distance, though, supported by their goalkeeper, Sudarta, who prevented the Omani finishing the game with brilliant saves. Oman would not let Indonesia’s expectations fly higher, and widened the gap with two new goals at the beginning of second period. That was becoming too tough for the Indonesian, and tougher it was to become when their next hit was replied with three new strokes by Oman, handling the game absolutely under control thanks to the excellent aim of many of their players. Jalal, Yahya,Yagoob, Ishaq and Faisal got their name in the record in a new exhibition in front of a great beach soccer atmosphere.
Finally, Syria achieved also their place in next round thanks to a new victory over the Atheltes of Kuwait that keep them with 6 points. Although the final score was quite tight, the truth is that Ahmad’s team was always in control of the game, and the hits by Ali (2), Biazid (2) and Hussam (3) made the score 3-7 by mid third period. Two late goals by the Kuwaiti could only soften the difference, but in any case caused any fright on the Syrian.
So, after these results, the quarterfinals configuration goes as follows:
Quarterfinals (14 December 2010)
Match 25 - 15:00 - China vs. Syria
Match 26 - 16:15 - Iran vs. Yemen
Match 27 - 17:30 - UAE vs. Japan
Match 28 - 18:45 – Oman vs. Bahrain