The Salalah side blank HM Cup champions Seeb in first edition of trophy
ANUROOP A –
MUSCAT, MARCH 31 –
Oman Hockey League champions Al Nasr beat HM Cup champions Seeb 2-0 to clinch the first ever Super Cup organised by the Oman Hockey Association at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex on Thursday night.
The match, however, was stopped before three minutes of play left as Seeb players refused to take to ground after an appeal for penalty was turned down by the referee.
Al Nasr, who were leading the match by a goal at that time, made it 2-0 from a counter attack after the attack by Seeb which led to the penalty appeal.
Al Nasr’s Pakistan recruits —Mohammed Irfan and Mohammed Ameen were the scorers for the Salalah side.
Captain Irfan found the target from a penalty corner in the 18th minute, while Ameen scored the field goal before the match was stopped in the 57th minute.
“We played really well. It was a nice game for us. Seeb should have respected the referee’s decision and completed the match,” Irfan said.
“It was not nice from the Seeb players part especially in the first Super Cup with the top guests from the first AHF Congress watching the game,” he said.
The match was watched by the dignitaries from the first Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) Congress hosted by Oman on Thursday. Among the attendance were AHF President HRH Prince Abdullah Ahmad Shah and AHF CEO Tayyib Ikram along with OHA Chairman Talib al Wahaibi and other delegates from the AHF member countries.
Al Nasr coach Mohammed Batrani said it was a well deserved victory.
“We had prepared well for this match. Though we had injuries to some of the players, our players displayed a faultless performance,” Batrani said.
On Seeb boycotting the final minutes’ play, the Al Nasr coach said it was not a good message given by the Seeb players.
“We were better on the ground with good defence and attack. Unfortunately Seeb failed to lift the match spirit. Anyway, nobody can take away our achievement, it is a deserving win for us,” the coach added.
India’s Junior World Cup winning coach Harinder Singh said he is positive on working as a consultant for Oman hockey, though he added that the arrangement is “still in its initial stages.”
“I am positive towards the role in Oman hockey though much will depend on Oman Hockey Association in finalising the deal.”
Another high-performance coach Malaysian indoor hockey expert Saiful Abdur Rahman also said he is awaiting from the OHA to finalise the arrangement.
“I am open towards the OHA offer. I will take a final decision after getting the complete picture on the arrangement from the OHA,” Saiful said.
“I am happy to get involved with the Oman hockey. I had helped the team in arranging tour matches in Malaysia before their Hockey World League (HWL) Round 2 championship in Dhaka,” he added.
The OHA had mooted the idea of consultants to develop hockey at the grassroots level and nurture age-group teams.
The high-performance coaches, if appointed, could greatly boost the age-group teams in three divisions — 12-14 years, 15-18 years and 18-21 years.
On his impression on Oman team, Harinder said the players have good desire to develop further.
“I have been following Oman during the HWL event in Dhaka and the players have a lot of scope to improve.”
On a query on Indian hockey, Harinder said he is now out of contract with the junior team but still working with Hockey India.
“I am keen to work in any capacity to develop Indian hockey — be it the junior team or the senior team.”
The coach added that the Hockey India League is one of the top leagues in the world. “The Hockey India League will tremendously boost the game in the country. The young players have a great chance to rub shoulders with the best in the world,” he said.
Harinder said the Indian hockey is up for a brighter period in future with all the favourable factors to boost the game intact.