Football: Oman enter Asian Qualifiers final round
By staff - Fri Jun 24, 5:47 am
Oman humbled a 10-man China with three goals in extra time to win 3-1 and advance 4-1 on aggregate — the latest setback for a team that has failed to match its economic might with success on the football pitch.
Elsewhere in the second preliminary round, the United Arab Emirates drew with North Korea 1-1 to advance 2-1 overall, while Syria blanked Turkmenistan 4-0 to advance 6-2 in total. Qatar eliminated India 4-2 on aggregate after a 1-1 draw, and Saudi Arabia trounced Vietnam 4-1 for a 6-1 on aggregate.
Uzbekistan downed a 10-man Hong Kong 2-0 to advance 3-0 on aggregate and Malaysia stunned Lebanon 2-1 to advance after the two sides played to a scoreless draw in the first leg.
The next stage comprises of three groups of four teams, with the group winners qualifying for London.
A draw will be held on July 7 and the teams will play a home-and-away format from Sept. 21 to March 14, 2012.
Oman ended 2008 Olympics hosts China’s dream of qualifying into the 2012 edition in London when the West Asians recorded a 3-1 win in the second leg at Seeb Stadium to emerge 4-1 aggregate winners Thursday.
China midfielder Wu Xi struck in the 69th but then substitute midfielder Cao Yunding was sent off by for a dangerous tackle on Amer al-Shatri. Oman took advantage, scoring three times in extra time — including a brace from midfielder Hussain al-Hadri, who also scored the lone in the first leg. After the aggregate score was tied 1-1 at the end of the regulation period, Oman bounced back in the extra-time with three goals.
Hussain al Hadhri, who had scored Oman’s only goal in the first leg, scored two in the extra-time. He found the net in the 94th minute and again four minutes after Yaqoob al Qasmi’s strike in the 114th minute to complete a dream victory.