Oman's fairytale run ends in semis at FIH Hockey5s World Cup

Sports Tuesday 30/January/2024 21:07 PM
By: Times News Service
Oman's fairytale run ends in semis at FIH Hockey5s World Cup

MUSCAT: They fought like true warriors. Oman players walked off the pitch with their heads high on Tuesday evening as the Red Brigade’s charge towards a dream spot in the final of the inaugural edition of the FIH Hockey5s World Cup was halted by an experienced and much-better Netherlands side.

The hosts’ had earlier surprised everyone as their fantastic fairytale run continued on Tuesday morning as they reached the semi-finals.

However, the dream run came to an end against one of the best sides in the world, the Netherlands as they went down fighting 5-3 in the semi-finals on Tuesday.

Siegfried Aikman, the Dutch head coach of Oman team, certainly is a proud man and will fancy his team to be on the podium when they next play for the bronze medal in the third-place playoff match on Wednesday evening.

Oman’s opponent in the third-place match would be known later with the second semi-final between Malaysia and Poland scheduled on Tuesday night.

It was a valiant display by Oman as they made history by becoming the first-ever team from the Sultanate to reach the semi-finals of any World Cup event in Olympic sports.

In the semi-finals, the Dutch took an early lead to push the hosts on the back foot as

Alexander Schop slammed the opener in the third minute. Two minutes later, Sander de Wijn made it 2-0 and further two minutes after came the third goal, this time from Yannick van der Drift as the Dutch led 3-0 at the interval.

The second half also saw the Dutch get off the blocks quickly with de Wijn finding the net in the 17th minute.

Oman’s opening goal came soon after as Rashad Al Fazari scored in the 19th minute and hopes of a fightback were raised when in-form Khalid Al Shaaibi reduced the score to 4-2 in the 21st minute.

However, Jamie van Aart extended the Dutch lead to 5-2 with a goal soon after Al Shaaibi’s strike.Oman captain Sami Al Laun scored a goal in the final minute to give the hosts some consolation.

Tuesday morning started on a rousing note for the hosts as they overpowered Kenya 5-2 in the quarter-finals.

The history-making boys continued to impress with their speed and skills at the event as their dream run continued from Monday night when they secured a spot in the last eight with a 6-4 win over the USA.

Against Kenya on Tuesday morning, Oman led 2-1 in the first half, thanks to a brilliant display from Khalid Al Shaaibi.

Al Shaaibi completed his hat-trick in the win (9', 20' and 22'). Rashid Al Fazari and Asama Barazahan were the other scorers.

In the other quarter-finals played on Tuesday, the Netherlands beat India 7-4.

Poland edged past an unbeaten Egypy 2-1 in a thriller with the winner coming in the last shot of the match.

Poland will take on Malaysia, who edged past Trinidad & Tobago 5-4 in a nine-goal thriller in the final quarter-final match.

Other results (classification matches): Tuesday: 5-8th Place: Egypt 8 Trinidad & Tobago 5, India 9 Kenya 4; 9-12th Place: Switzerland 7 (2) New Zealand 7 (1), Pakistan 11 Australia 3; 13-16th Place: Nigeria 5 (2) Fiji 5 (1), USA 8 Jamaica 1