It was the first loss for Hamood al Hassani's men, who had earlier recorded three wins in a row to go top of Pool B.Oman had defeated Saudi Arabia, Japan and Pakistan but the streak was halted by the Thais in a thrilling encounter.Following the win, Thailand joins Oman with six points with Iran leading the table with eight points.Oman now has to beat Iran on Thursday to keep its hope for a semifinal berth.
A win for Thailand and Oman will see the goal-difference come into equation for deciding the semifinalists from Pool B as three teams, including Iran, will have garnered eight points each.Inaugural edition winner in 2004, Oman, got off to a solid start against the Thailand as it sealed the first game 21-14.
However, the Thais rallied back to force a shootout with a 17-14 victory in the next game.In the shootout, Thailand edged Oman, a four-time Asian silver medallist, 7-6. The 12-team event also serves as the qualifier for the IHF Men’s and Women’s Beach Handball World Championship in Italy 2020.
The top-two teams in China will advance to the worlds in Italy next year. Oman has been a regular at the beach handball worlds, having participated for the first time in 2004. Since 2010, it has qualified for the world championships, with its best finish achieved in 2016 – a seventh place in Budapest, Hungary.