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2019 Men’s World Championship 2019 Men’s World Championship
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Date: 7/26/2018

There are always mini tournaments within tournaments and the 2018 IHF Men’s Beach Handball World Championship in Kazan, Russia is no different.

In the Group C Preliminary Round match between Qatar and Oman late yesterday afternoon, there was regional rivalries at stake, with Qatar defeating Oman in the Asian Men’s Beach Handball Championship last year in Thailand.

But in their match yesterday, full of passion, emotion and maybe a little ill-discipline from the players at times – Oman had two red cards – the Omanis defeated Qatar 15:14 in a shootout after they had won the first set but lost the second.

It was not until the fourth set of shots in the sudden death round that there was a miss or save as Qatar's Hamdi Ayed saw his shot saved by goalkeeper Azan Al Azan. It was then left for Al Dughaishi to score the solitary point needed and spark wild celebrations from the Omanis.

“Before I made the save I wanted to go in the goal, so I asked Hussain Al Jabri (Oman’s other goalkeeper) if I could go in goal as I felt I could make this save,” said the 28-year-old Al Azan to IHF.info.

“He trusted me to go into goal to make the save and after the save I felt like I had done something really big for the team - I have been watching the Qatar players a lot; how they’ve been shooting, and I knew that when Hamdi Ayed goes down to shoot he shoots up, so I felt confident I could save it. “

For Al Azan’s coach Hamood Al Hasani he saw enough in the match – which followed a defeat against Denmark (2:0) and shootout victory over Australia – to give him confidence going into the main round where they will face Sweden, Brazil and Russia.
“Against Qatar I saw my players play very well individually, and as a team,” said coach Al Hasani. “I am very pleased, and they have great confidence, of course we lost a match against Denmark, but we look forward to winning some more matches here.

“I am so happy we can take two points into the main round,” he continued. “This is not the best scenario going into the main round of course, but we will try our best to qualify from there - we now play three teams which are very strong, but we will try to do our best and we will try and show what we did against Qatar in the main round.”

Al Azan echoed the thoughts of his coach and was quick to stress it was all about studying in the brief break between the preliminary and main rounds.

“The two points we take into the main round is very important as we couldn’t win the two matches we needed to, to get four points,” said Al Azan. “Yes, we lost to Denmark, but the Qatar victory was very important, and we will all sit together to study Brazil, Sweden and Russia and teach ourselves about them. We will prepare individually and as a team for these important matches.

“We are very serious now as a new tournament starts for us and we want to go to the last round.”