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Bahrain, Qatar join Oman at AVC Continental Cup final round

Oman, Bahrain and Qatar qualified for the final round of AVC Continental Cup at the Western Zonal tournament in the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday
Ajman, UAE, November 22, 2011 – Oman finished in top spot at the AVC Western Zonal tournament of the Continental Cup with a 4-0 win over second-placed Qatar as the competition concluded on Ajman beach in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Tuesday.

Gulf champions Oman illustrated their superiority over the other five countries as they finished their campaign with a perfect record.

Bahrain and Qatar secured contrasting wins to confirm their places for the 2010-12 AVC Continental Cup scheduled for New Zealand early next year.

Bahrain made hard work of bottom-placed Iraq before winning 3-1 with four wins and one defeat. Habib Mohammad, manager for the Bahrain team, was irked with the way his team qualified for the next stage. “We lost focus after winning the first set. How can a team like ours lose a set against Iraq who is at the bottom of the table?” he fumed.

“Now that we have made it to the next stage of the competition, we hope to improve on our performances during the Gulf Championship,” he added. “And we intend to use the next competition to sharpen our skills while also trying out a couple of our younger players.”

Qatar, with a record of three wins and two defeats, eased their way to third despite losing 4-0 to Oman in the six-nation West Asian pre-qualifying round.

Hosts UAE followed in fourth narrowly missing out on a spot in the next phase. After going down to Bahrain 4-0 on the opening day, the hosts had done well against Qatar on Monday as they fought to 2-2 before losing the golden set 15-9.

“The loss to Qatar was crucial,” UAE coach Mounir Abboushi said. “That was one match we should have won, and we would have, if we had the right sort of preparations going into this competition.

“But there is hope as both the teams are getting better with each match. They are adapting to the conditions physically and we will have the next two days to come up with some tactical measures so that they fare better in the next competition,” Abboushi added.

The teams will now take a well-deserved two-day rest before heading to the Gulf Beach Volleyball Championships to be held at the same venue from November 24 to 27.

The West Asian zonal competition that was held in Ajman attracted 12 teams from six countries with nations playing each other before the top three qualifiers were determined to represent the zone for the 2010-12 Continental Beach Volleyball Cup scheduled in New Zealand from February 16 to 19.

Final standings
1. Oman
2. Bahrain
3. Qatar
4. UAE
5. Kuwait
6. Iraq


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