(MENAFN- Muscat Daily) Oman came up with a gritty performance on Friday but it was still not enough as it lost 2-3 to China and finish eighth and last in the Asia Cup tournament.
In an evenly-fought match, it was China who took an early 1-0 lead in the 11th minute of the match through a field goal by Su Lixing.
However, Oman, coached by K K Poonacha of India, made a strong comeback with a penalty corner conversion in the 16th minute through Asaad Mubarak al Qasmi's powerful dragflick that beat Chinese goalkeeper Ao Zhiwei.
Oman has shown spirited performance throughout the tournament by scoring against every team it has played. Against a higher-ranked China also on Saturday, it put up a brilliant fight but it was simply not enough to halt Chinese forwards from scoring goals.
Du Chen came up with fine display of dribbling 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 Oman goalkeeper Fahad al Noufali in the 52nd minute to put his team in a commanding position with a 3-1 lead. However, Oman did not give up with as Basim Khatar scoring a sensational field goal in the 56th minute to narrow the lead to 2-3.
Later, Poonacha appreciated his team's spirited performance. The former Indian star said, 'We came here with an aim to finish sixth 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 we will work on our game further. Next, we will focus on doing well in the Asian Games Qualifiers in Muscat and look forward to qualifying for the 2018 Asian Games.'
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