BAHRAIN yesterday crashed out of the 2019 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Beach Soccer Championship following a heartbreaking 3-5 loss to Oman in the quarter-finals.
Two goals from Khalid Al Oraimi, both scored at crucial times, were the key to victory for the Omanis, who are now one win away from both the final and a place in the 2019 Fifa Beach Soccer World Cup in Paraguay.
Oman meet UAE in today’s semi-final while Bahrain’s dreams of returning to the global competition after a 10-year absence were shattered.
Mohamed Darwish Ebrahim struck for Bahrain, but Oman were level within seconds as Khalid Al Oraimi fired in a forceful equaliser following a kick-off move.
Oman took the lead in the fourth minute through Mushel Al Araimi, who produced a low effort that Bahrain’s Sayed Mohamed Abbas couldn’t keep out, but Bahrain restored parity five minutes later via Rashed Jamal’s low free-kick.
The Bahrainis then conceded within seconds of scoring, with Oman’s Sami Bulushi converting to make it 3-2 before the end of an eventful first period.
Bahrain found a way back into the contest through an unlikely source, with Oman captain Yahya Al Araimi sending the ball into his own net in the 14th minute.
A moment of class from Al Oraimi gave Oman back their lead in the 27th minute, and then Yahya Al Arami had the last word, bouncing home a free-kick to make it 5-3.
“Thank you for everything. This was the last game for my team. It was a very tough game against a strong team. I think they will go to the final. They beat Iran, the second best team in the world and the winners in the last competition,” said Bahrain head coach Mahmood Al Ghawi.
“We have some problems, two players couldn’t play (through suspension), and today was very hot also. I’m sad, but also very happy with my team. We’ll be back.”
In other quarter-final matches yesterday, the UAE thrashed Malaysia 8-1, Japan beat Iran 3-2 after extra-time and Palestine edged past Lebanon 4-3.