Jaber Al Ajmi –
Muscat: Al Mudhaibi were crowned champions of the First Division and were promoted for the first time to Omantel Professional League (OPL) as they edged Nizwa 2-1, and Al Salam returned to OPL after more than a ten-year absence after thrashing Al Musannah 4-0, securing promotion on the final day of the First Division League.
Mirbat defeated Al Seeb 2-1 to ensure the third place and play the promotion play-offs with the 12th placed OPL team.
At Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex, Salim al Wahibi, Oman Football Association Chairman crowned Al Mudhaibi with the Shield and gold medals after they came back from behind to beat Nizwa 2-1 thanks to a late goal scored by Said al Habsi (87’). Al Mudhaibi club which was found in 1986, were officially promoted to OPL last week as they drew 0-0 against Al Salam.
Khalid al Habsi, Al Mudhaibi Club Chairman expressed his happiness for the historic promotion: ‘’ congrats to everyone at Al Mudhaibi for the great achievement and thanks to all coaching staff, players, administrators and supporters who contributed and worked hard to make the dream true.’’
The hometown club of the historical legend of Omani Football Ali al Habsi, came close to earning promotion to OPL many times but had faltered in the last hurdle of the play-offs twice, but finally did it.
Khalid al Habsi continued ‘’We will seek our best to plan well and overcome all challenges to play a good season at OPL.’’
Al Habsi praised the team manager Anwer al Habsi and said ‘’Anwar is one of the club’s great symbols and he will be remaining in the coaching position and we will let it to him to select his team technical staff members’’
In the second fixtures, Al Salam stole the second OPL promotion card as they thrashed Al Musannah 4-0. Al Salam levelled Mirbat on points (15 points each) but grabbed the direct promotion card thanks to their head-to-head goal differences.
Al Salam invested in their new generation in the last few years and were able to gain promotion last season from Second Division to First Division and this season continued their great job to be promoted to the top Omani football competition.
Ali al Balushi, Al Salam Club Chairman said ‘’ It is a great moment to be back to OPL after long time. Despite the lack of financial resources, we believed in ourselves and depended on strategic planning and youth players of the club and now we are back to OPL. I thank all club members and loyal supporters for their support.’’
Al Balushi dreamed to battle for OPL title within four years, said ‘’ we seek to be in OPL next two seasons and then why not to compete for the title in the third and fourth season.’’
At Seeb Stadium, Mirbat came back from behind to defeat the hosts Al Seeb 2-1 thanks to the two goals scored by Jefferson in the second half. Mirbat earned the third place and now will be waiting to play the promotion play-offs with the 12th placed team of OPL.
Jaber Al Ajmi –