Needing a win to progress to the semi-final stage, the Qantas Australian Men’s Beach Football Team got off to a bad start by allowing Oman to score the opening goal in the third minute of the match. Oman doubled their lead, with just seconds remaining in the first period when Nasser Al Mukhaini found the back of the net.
After a scoreless second period, the Qantas Australian Men’s Beach Football Team pulled a goal back early in the third period when Jonathan Cook scored to make it 2-1. Oman extended their lead shortly after through Jalal and effectively sealed the match two minutes later when Nasser Al Mukhaini scored his second goal. Michael Matricciani scored with six minutes remaining to give the Qantas Australian Men’s Beach Football Team some hope of a fight-back, but unfortunately no additional goals were forthcoming and Oman held on to book a berth in the semi-finals.
Speaking after the match, Qantas Australian Men’s Beach Football Team Head Coach Airton Andrioli was disappointed that his team didn’t progress to the semi-finals, but was proud of their performance over the three matches.
“When you look at the limited amount of preparation and experience we had with the team, we definitely performed way beyond most people’s expectations,” Andrioli said.
“Today was one of those matches. A number of chances didn’t go in and if we had a little more luck, we may have made it to the next round, but that’s football.
“In every match we played over here, we were very competitive against some very experienced opposition.
“The players commitment was outstanding and I couldn’t have asked for anything more from them. They did Australia proud and made a lot of people sit up and take notice of us,” concluded Andrioli.
In the other matches, Iran confirmed their top place in Group B with an 8-2 win over China and Bahrain defeated Japan 3-2 on penalties after scores were locked at 2-2 after extra time. Uzbekistan won their friendly match 8-7 against France.
Japan, Bahrain, Iran and Oman will now progress to the semi-finals stage, with the winners of the each semi-final match advancing to the final and will also qualify for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2009.
The FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2009 will be played in Dubai from 16 to 22 November 2009 and involves 16 nations including United Arab Emirates, Portugal, Uruguay, Solomon Islands, Spain, Côte d’Ivoire, El Salvador, Russia, Costa Rica, Argentina, Italy, Brazil, Nigeria and Switzerland.