Muscat: Oman’s representatives have qualified for the quarter-finals of one of youth football’s biggest tournament after beating the developmental side of Mexican team Club America 9-1 in the knockout stages
That massive win comes after losing just one game in their group: Muscat Football Academy’s under-12s are representing the country at the 2019 Mundialito (Spanish for Little World Cup), where they drew five and lost one of their games in their quest to qualify for the next round.
“We have just won, we are through to the quarters,” said MFA head coach Chuck Martini, speaking to Times of Oman. “We beat an associate side of Club America 9-1, and dominated the game, to be quite honest, from start to finish. I think about four or five of our players got on the scoresheet, so that is really good for us.”
Their most memorable and strongest result in the group stages in terms of ability saw them come back from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 against Romanian side Steaua Bucharest at the 2019 Mundialito, which is being held in Catalonia. Steaua’s senior side are often found playing in the Champions League and Europa League.
Muscat Football Academy’s under-12 side previously came back from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 against Romanian side Steaua Bucharest at the 2019 Mundialito, which is being held in Catalonia.
Steaua’s senior side are often found playing in the Champions League and Europa League, and the Mundialito, Spanish for ‘little World Cup’, sees MFA representing the Sultanate at the tournament, which includes some of the world’s biggest club sides.
In the past, teams such as FC Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund, Sporting Clube de Portugal, Liverpool, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Juventus have all taken part. This year’s tournament has more than 400 youth teams across several age categories taking part in the Mundialito.
“We played our final league games, and had a massive result for the academy and Oman, where we drew 3-3,” said MFA head coach Chuck Martini. “It was 3-0, then it was 3-1, 3-2, and finally 3-3. We scored the equaliser in the dying seconds. It was a real fantastic achievement for the academy.
“Motassim Al Khuseibi was an absolute monster here, he scored two goals, and Ahmed Al Siyabi scored one goal,” added Martini.
“Motassim scored the first, Ahmed scored the second, and then Motassim scored the third in the dying seconds of the game.”
That draw against Steaua meant MFA had secured qualification to the knockout stages of the competition. They rotated their squad for the last game in their group, and although it did mean they lost their unbeaten status, having drawn with all the other teams in their group, it also saw some of the fringe players receive some minutes.
Martini added: “We had already qualified at that stage, so we are now going to play in the quarter-finals. We rotated the team in the last game, where we narrowly lost 3-2.”