Mirbat clash with Al Khabourah for OPL place

By Jaber Al Ajmi — MUSCAT: May 23 – Mirbat clash with Al Khabourah to secure a place in the Omantel Professional League (OPL) next season as they face off in the first leg of the promotion play-offs at Salalah Stadium (18:15).
The third placed team of the First Division League Mirbat is hoping to join Al Mudhaibi and Al Salam in the top flight while Al Khabourah will try to stay in the top Omani football competition after they finished in the play-offs spot.
Mirbat reached the play-offs promotion spot after defeating Nizwa and Al Seeb 2-1 in the last two rounds of the First Division campaign, securing third place with 15 points, thanks to the new appointed manager Akram Habrish.
‘’We are well prepared for the tie and we hope to exploit our home advantage to register a good result that make our second leg away easier.’’ Akram Habrish, Mirbat manager said.
‘’It is a difficult game, Al Khabourah want to stay in OPL and we seek promotion to OPL.
Mirbat did not play any formal game since their last game against Al Seeb 5 weeks ago But Habrish, who just coached Mirbat in three games: (two wins and one loss) emphasised that it was a good one for them.
“We have no problem in stop playing for a long time; we used it as a good period to review the challenges we had throughout the season.
Mirbat will play the game without any absence, which can be an advantage for them.
“We have no absence and in fact I rely on the spirit of the team which consists of 24 players.’’ Habrish added.
On the other hand, Al Khabourah started the OPL campaign badly collecting 16 points in 16 games but they got better after appointing the local manager Naser Al Hajri who managed them in 10 OPL games, made three wins, five draws and lost twice.
“We did good results in the last games but they were not enough to avoid relegation play off, but those good results we achieved in the second OPL part will motivate us to pass Mirbat.’’
“It is a knockout two leg games and Mirbat did very well with their manager Akram Habrish.”
“We will depend on our experience in OPL and the physical training as we continued to play games until last week.” Al Khabourah might play without their striker Said Obaid. “I may not start with Said Obaid who also was out of our last three OPL games for health circumstances, but he will be on the bench.” Al Hajri added.
The second leg will be next Sunday 28th May at Sohar Stadium.