Football: Oman launch AFC U-16 Championship qualification campaign with 8-0 rout of Maldives
September 20, 2017 | 7:45 PM
by Times News Service
Oman players celebrate after scoring a goal against Maldives. Photo - AFC

Muscat: Oman launched the 2018 AFC U-16 Championship qualifying campaign with an 8-0 rout of Maldives in the Tajikistan’s capital city of Dushanbe on Wednesday.

According to news posted on the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) website, Oman took charge of their Group B opening match early as they went ahead in the eighth minute when an unmarked Issa Khalfan Al Naabi rose above the Maldives defenders to score off a corner.

Mulham Yousuf Al Sinaidi scored Oman’s second in the 25th minute when he pounced on a loose ball off a free-kick past the Maldives keeper.

Oman made it three after Fahad Said Al Rasbi found ample space in the penalty box as he beat three defenders to score in the 44th minute.

Oman managed to squeeze in one more at the stroke of halftime through Omar Nasser Al Salti’s effort.

There was no reprieve for Maldives after the break, as Oman put them under pressure from the start with their high pressing game.

Al Sinaidi picked up his second in the 61st minute after Al Naabi beat the off-side trap to cross from the left onto the path of an unmarked Al Sinaidi - who was the man-of-the-match.

Oman showed no signs of slowing down as they pushed for more goals. Nasser Abdallah Al Naabi hit a brace in the 64th and 72nd minutes before Tariq Khamis Al Mashary completed the rout in the 82nd minute.

Yacoub Al Sabahi-coached Omanis will next play Syria on Friday before completing their group engagements with a match against hosts Tajikistan on Sunday.

The ten group winners and five best second-placed teams will advance to the 2018 AFC U-16 Championship finals along with the hosts Malaysia. The championship is scheduled to take place from September 20 and October 7, 2018.

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