Al Khobar: Oman saw off a resilient Pakistan while a dominant Saudi Arabia cruised to victory over Syria in Group D of the AFC U-16 Championship 2020 Qualifiers at the Prince Saud bin Jalawi Stadium in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.
Oman, two-time winners of the AFC U-16 Championship, defeated Pakistan 2-0 while Saudi Arabia, also two-time champions, saw off Syria 4-1.
Oman 2-0 Pakistan
Oman were made to work for the win as Pakistan gave everything they had in search of an upset.
The South Asian side’s ambition lacked a cutting edge though and Oman took the lead in the 18th minute through striker Mshary Ali Al Hasani.
Their search for a second goal before half-time was thwarted by Pakistan, who defended stoutly.
The second half saw Oman continuing to dictate the pace and as Pakistan came under increasing pressure, the second goal was inevitable.
It came in the 61st minute with midfielder Mamoon Said Al Araimi giving Oman the breathing space they needed as they held on for the three points.
Saudi Arabia 4-1 Syria
Saudi Arabia were quick off the starting blocks as midfielder Abdullah Bandar Zaid gave them the lead in the eighth minute.
The lead was soon doubled as Suhayb Ayman Alzaid scored Saudi Arabia’s second in the 17th minute. They continued to press and Muhannad Abdullah Barrah widened Saudi Arabia’s advantage further with his strike in the 39th minute.
Syria, to their credit, fought back and gave themselves hope when striker Anis Kassem reduced the deficit in first half stoppage time.
Saudi Arabia were content to protect their lead in the second half and Syria found it hard to penetrate and tere was more woe for them eight minutes from the end as Barrah scored his second goal of the night.
Saudi Arabia play Pakistan on Friday while Syria will look to rebound against Oman.