03:11 am - Monday 25 May 2015

Heart Break for Oman

By staff - Tue Apr 24, 4:25 am

Coventry: Oman were denied a place in the Olympics for the first time in the Gulf Sultanate’s history when they were defeated 2-0 by Senegal in the AFC-CAF Playoff on Monday.

Looking to join Japan, Korea Republic and neighbours the UAE as Asia’s fourth representative in Tuesday’s draw for the football tournament of 2012 London Games, Oman were handed the worst possible start at the City of Coventry Stadium when Osasuna forward Ibrahima Balde headed home a free-kick to give Senegal the lead after just 90 seconds.

Senegal dominated the first-half and although Oman fought bravely in the second period they couldn’t find their way back into the contest and with three minutes remaining substitute Abdoulaye Sane sealed the win that saw the African side become the 16th and final team to qualify.

Playing in a 4-2-3-1 formation, Senegal hit Oman with swift, skillful attacks, and the Asian team struggled physically against their opponents.

Despite going into the break behind, Oman emerged from half-time with renewed vigour to chase the game. The match became a more even contest as it went on, and Mohammed Al-Balushi came the closest to an equalizer.

Unfortunately, their failure to find an equalizer was punished by Senegal three minutes from time, when substitute Abdoulyane Sane slotted the ball past Oman goalkeeper Omer Al-Abri to seal victory and an Olympic spot for his country.

Photo: AFP

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