(MENAFN- Muscat Daily) Oman claimed a silver medal at the third Asian-Pacific University Futsal and Cheerleading Championship in the Chinese city of Lingwu on Monday.
In the summit clash, fancied and defending champion Iran edged past Oman 4-2. Kazakhstan beat China for bronze.
The runner-up finish also guaranteed Oman a berth in next year's FISU World University Futsal Championship, which will be held in Almaty, Kazakhstan from August 19-26.
Oman players celebrate after their semifinal win over Kazakhstan on Sunday
The championship began on September 18 and had a total of nine teams competing for the title. The other participating sides were from Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Chinese Taipei and New Caledonia. The championship was held under the joint auspices of the Asian University Sports Federation and the Oceania University Sports Federation.
Oman began its campaign on September 18 with a hard-fought 6-5 win over Kyrgyzstan and made it two wins in a row when it stunned the hosts 5-3 in the next match.
Oman, which was making its second appearance in an Asian university futsal event, had claimed a bronze last year at the third University football championship in South Korea.
Oman's maiden participation was at the inaugural AsianUniversity Futsal Championship in Tehran, Iran in 2012, where nine teams took part. Hosts Iran won the title and followed it up with the second gold at the second edition in Almaty in 2016.
Playing with passion and determination, the Omani players' victory march was halted in the third match when they were held to a surprise 2-2 draw by New Caledonia.
However, the draw was a wake-up call for the Sami al Yousfi-coached team as it thrashed Chinese Taipei 12-3 in the concluding group game to storm into the semifinals with a record of three wins and one draw.
In the semis on Sunday, Oman got the better of Kazakhstan with a 7-5 win.
In Almaty next year, Oman will be making its fourth appearance at the World University Futsal Championships.
Oman players are ecstatic after scoring a goal against Iran on Monday
Oman made its debut at the varsity futsal worlds in Belgrade, Serbia in 2010 when the Oman Committee for University Sports (OCUS) decided to field a team.
It followed up with its participation in 2012 in Braga, Portugal and then took part in Malaga, Spain in 2014.
However, it missed competing in the 15th World University Futsal Championship in Goiania in Brazil in 2016.
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