Muscat: Star striker Abdulaziz Al Maqbali and Mohammed Taqi scored a brace each as Oman launched their campaign in the second CISM World Cup Football Championship with a 5-0 drubbing of Guinea at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex on Sunday.
The Sultanate squad, who settled for runners-up spot in the last edition of the championship organised in South Korea in 2015, are hoping to go all the way this time around.
And the way Oman started their Group A outing shows it will be difficult for the other 15 military teams from around the world to stop the hosts from lifting the trophy on January 28.
Though it should be said that Guinea held their own for most part of the first session, especially after Abdulaziz Al Maqbali gave Oman the lead in the 22nd minute.
With one goal cushion and with the likes of Al Maqbali, Hareb Al Saadi, Qasim Saeed, Mohammed Al Mashri and Mohammad Taqi showing urgency with their attacking play, the hosts went on to dominate the proceedings.
But Guinea defenders stood their ground and managed to thwart danger for the rest of the first session.
However, the floodgates opened after resumption when Al Maqbali scored his and the team’s second goal just ten minutes into the session.
Four minutes later, fellow international Mohammed Al Musallami made 3-0.
Then it was the turn of Mohammed Taqi complete the tally his two goals — the first coming in the 64th minute and the second in the 68th minute.
Oman play their next Group A match against Bahrain at the same venue on Wednesday.
On Monday, Bahrain play their first Group A match against France while Group B action will see Algeria facing Germany and Iran meeting North Korea.
Earlier in the evening, His Highness Sayyid Shihab bin Tariq Al Said, Advisor to His Majesty the Sultan, officially inaugurated the championship during an impressive opening ceremony.
The inaugural ceremony, the main theme which was peace and harmony, depicted the ‘Omani culture and traditions, and the country’s relations with the other nations and the people’. And it also saw colourful presentations by music bands of Royal Army of Oman, the Royal Navy of Oman, Royal Guard of Oman and the Royal Oman Police as well as shows by Sultan’s Armed Forces and the Royal Cavalry of Royal Court Affairs.