Football: Lebanon deny Oman semifinal spot in AFC Beach Soccer Championship

Sports Wednesday 08/March/2017 17:20 PM
By: Times News Service
Football: Lebanon deny Oman semifinal spot in AFC Beach Soccer Championship

Muscat: Defending champions Oman’s hopes of lifting another continental title were shattered when a battling Lebanon denied them a semifinal place in the ongoing AFC Beach Soccer Championship in Malaysia on Wednesday.
According to the news posted on the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) website, Lebanon clinched the second semifinal ticket after their 4-3 come-back win over Oman in the last match of Group B.
Oman missed a chance to shed first blood early in the game as Abdullah Al Balushi’s free-kick went wide but finally Yahya Al Araimi found the Omanis’ opening goal.
Lebanon’s equaliser came in exciting fashion as Moustafa Al Zein’s free-kick from distance bounced off keeper Amjad Al Hamdani and rolled slowly in.
However, Oman went ahead again as Nooh Al Zadjali easily tapped in with two minutes remaining before a Mushel Al Araimi powerful volley almost extended the lead before the second period ended.
Lebanon equalised at the restart as skipper Mohamad Merhi struck home from mid-range but Oman regained the lead immediately with an Abdullah Salim strike.
Al Araimi’s distance strike then narrowly missed its mark before Lebanese Mohamad Matar fired wide from close-range.
Merhi then secured his second and his side’s equaliser but a neat header from Ahmed Grada a mere three seconds from time clinched Lebanon’s last-minute winner.
The top three finishers at the AFC Beach Soccer Championship will represent Asia at the 2017 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, which is scheduled to be held in Bahamas from April 27 to May 7.