After 3rd round of Asian Championship in Bahrain, the situation in the group A is quite clear: Qatar holds first place in the group firmly, following 29:24 (15:12) win over well prepared Japanese team. Ortega’s players managed to surprise Qatar with quick and organized play. However, their effort was not strong enough to upset the top favorites.
In the another group A match, Oman celebrated important 31:24 (15:11) victory over Syria, securing place in top 4 teams in the group. Although Korea still has theoretical chances to qualify, most likely the match between Japan and Oman will decide which selection will go through the semi-final of the Championship.
Things are much more complicated in the group B: following the draw with Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates were on the verge of a new major upset against the host Bahrain. Despite resilient and motivated play of the UAE, Bahrain team was concentrated at the end of the game, using constant power play and converting several controversial penalties into goals for final 28:26 (16:13) victory. Another matches in the group B did not bring any challenge for the favorites – Saudi Arabia demolished Lebanon 32:13 (16:4), while Iran showed quality against China, celebrating 36:18 (17:10) victory.
The picture about the semi-finalists from the group B will be drawn in the last two rounds: at the moment, Bahrain is close to the achievement if this objective, while Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Iran still hold the chance to secure the second slot in the fight for medals.
Syria in the group A, as well as Lebanon and China in the group B, are without any chances to qualify for the semi-finals.