Asian Football Confederation

Just missed the medals

That it would be Oman, first time qualifiers for the final round of a FIFA tournament of any kind, who would being home the laurels for Asia was not an outcome that many people would have predicted. With Kathiri being chosen as best player of the tournament, a second honour fell to the Arabian team. This was the first time in the history of FIFA competitions that the Golden Ball was awarded to an Asian footballer. It will be interesting to see what effect these successes have on the development of football in Oman. Japan and Qatar had less cause for rejoicing. Although the players from the Land of the Rising Sun played attractive football, they failed once again to capitalise on the chances they created. When and if they can overcome this weakness they will do better than they did here in Ecuador '95. Qatar started well but then their fortunes took a steady dive. Until libero Ghulam was sent off in the game against Spain, they were well organised in defence, but their attacks did not amount to very much. One goal in three games is too little fulfill any dreams of progressing to higher things.