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Qualifiers - Group B: Lebanon, Saudi Arabia enjoy fine starts

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Manama: Lebanon and Saudi Arabia opened their AFC Futsal Championship Turkmenistan 2020 qualifying campaigns in resounding fashion at the Khalifa Sports City Stadium in Manama on Thursday.

Lebanon defeated Oman 10-2 while Saudi Arabia beat Qatar 5-2 as both teams boosted their hopes of a top two finish in Group B.

The top two teams from Groups A and B will qualify for next February's Finals, and the respective third place finishers will meet in a play-off match to determine the final ticket from the West Zone.

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Lebanon 10-2 Oman

Lebanon seized control from the start and took the lead just a minute into the match through forward Mohamad Kobeissy.

Midfielder Karim Abou Zeid, who would go on to score four, doubled Lebanon's lead in the third minute and Ali El Homsi made it 3-0 four minutes later. Ali Tneich scored the fourth in the ninth minute as Oman struggled to get a grip on the game.

Lebanon were almost scoring at will, and Steve Koukezian made it 5-0 in the 11th minute before Abou Zeid scored his second of the game in the 14th.

Oman, against the run of play, pulled a goal back three minutes before the break but Abou Zeid restored his team's advantage with his third five minutes into the restart.

His fourth came in the 34th minute but Oman scored their second a minute later, with Muatasim Riyadh Al Shamsi scoring from the penalty spot.

Lebanon, however, were not done as Georgio El Khoury hit a brace in the 37th and 38th minutes to complete a resounding win.

Oman will play Qatar on Friday while Lebanon face Saudi Arabia.

Qatar 2-5 Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia were equally dominant against Qatar, taking the lead through defender Aroan Nawaf Mubarak in the fourth minute.

The advantage was doubled just two minutes later by midfielder Jwher Zafer Jmah.

Qatar closed ranks and began to see more of the ball and narrowed the deficit through Abdulrahman Alyafei in the 17th minute.

That stung Saudi Arabia into action and a quickfire brace by Abdulilah Mohammed Alotaibi saw them taking a 4-1 lead into the break.

Tamim Farhan Al-Awlaqi reduced Qatar's deficit in the 24th minute but there were to be no more goals for them with Mubarak scoring his second of the match in the 37th minute to seal Saudi Arabia the points.

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