Dhaka (Bangladesh), 20 October, 2017: China beat Oman 3-2 in a closely fought encounter to end their Hero Asia Cup 2017 campaign in the 7th place.
The match between Oman and China was evenly-fought with both teams pushing each other on all fronts. Though it was China who took a 1-0 lead in the 11th minute of the match through a field goal by Su Lixing, Oman made a strong comeback with a PC in the 16th minute. It was successfully converted by Al Qasmi Asaad Mubarak who came up with a well-executed dragflick to beat Chinese goalkeeper Ao Zhiwei and level the score to 1-1.
Oman have shown spirited performance in this tournament by scoring against every team they have played. Today too they put up a brilliant fight against a higher ranked China but it was simply not enough to halt Chinese forwards from scoring goals. Du Chen came up with fine display of drilling skills to convert a splendid field goal in the 27th minute and take a 2-1 lead.
Though both teams played defensively in the third quarter with no goals being scored, China’s Xiaoping Guo put one past Al Noufali Fahad in the 52nd minute to put his team in a commanding position with a 3-1 lead. However, a spirited Oman were not the ones to give up with Rajab Basim Khatar scoring a sensational field goal in the 56th minute to narrow the lead to 3-2. Sadly though, the late surge was simply not enough to stop China from racing to the winning points.
Chinese National Coach Yingbiao Cui said, “We are in a building process. This is a relatively young and inexperienced team. They were selected after the National Games. This team has good potential in the future and we are happy with 7th position.”
Meanwhile, KK Ponacha, Oman Coach appreciated his team’s spirited performance. “We came here at least to finish 6th but could not achieve it. It means we have to work hard for improvement. This is a new team with number of changes and Oman is also building a team for the future. Though we were the bottom-ranked team, Oman scored against every single team in this tournament and that is a big plus we will take back home. We have learnt a lot of good lessons in this tournament and work on our game further. Next, we will focus on doing well in the Asian Games Qualifier in Muscat and look at playing the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta,” Ponacha said.