AFC U19 CHAMPIONSHIP: OMAN BOYS GO DOWN FIGHTING

Oman went down fighting against defending champion Qatar 1-2 in its concluding Group D qualifier for the AFC U19 Championship at the Grand Hamad Stadium in Doha, Qatar on Tuesday.

The win and the subsequent top spot in the group sealed the hosts’ ticket to the AFC U19 Championship finals in Bahrain next year. Rasheed Jaber’s Oman boys will have to wait for the result of the Lebanon-Kyrgyzstan game to know if they have finished second in the group, in which case they will have a chance to advance.

Oman is second with four points, trailing Qatar, which has nine points. A win for Lebanon will put it on level with Oman and the team with better goal-difference will stand a chance to qualify.

Oman’s Asad al Awadi opened the scoring in the 30th minute, but Qatar drew parity in first-half injury-time before scoring again in the 52nd minute.

Oman had begun its campaign with a goalless draw against Lebanon on October 2 before demolishing Kyrgyzstan 4-1 on Sunday.

Ten group toppers and five top second-placed teams will advance to the finals, with hosts Bahrain receiving automatic qualification. If Bahrain finishes atop its qualifying group or as one of the top five runners-up, the next best second-placed team will qualify for the tournament proper.