HM CUP QUARTERFINALS: Al Salam clash with Al Suwaiq, Bausher meet Oman club in first leg matches
Jaber al Ajmi –
Dec. 15: Defending champions Saham are set to host Jalan in the last eight of His Majesty’s Cup, while Al Salam seek an upset win against Al Suwaiq. In the first leg matches, which will be played on December 15 and 16, Dhofar will play last year’s runners-up Al Khabourah and Bausher fight with Oman club in the Muscat derby.
Two-time winners Saham are in good form when they host Jalan in the first leg at the Sohar Stadium at 19:00. During the last-16 round, Saham defeated Fanja for a third time this season. The defending champions are all set for their second straight title. OPL bottom side Jalan entered the last-eight stage after edging Sohar 1-0, thanks to Yaseen al Shahimi’s goal.
Before Saham-Jalan match, first-division side Al Salam will play Al Suwaiq. Al Salam are eyeing a third shocker after they hammered OPL leaders Al Shabab 4-1 in the last 16. Al Salam are doing a good job in the first-division so far. Al Suwaiq, too, did not find any difficulty to qualify as they thrashed Al Mudaibi 5-2. The Iraqi manager’s men will put all their focus on HM Cup as they lost their chance to battle for OPL, sitting in 11th place with only 13 points.
Friday’s actions will start at Salalah Stadium as the two OPL sides — Dhofar and Al Khabourah — face off in this round’s thriller. It kicks off at 16:45. Dhofar, who have sacked their Egyptian manager Hamza al Jamal two weeks ago, know that Al Khabourah will not be a easy team to beat. Dhofar had beat Al Seeb in last 32 round and Al Hamra in the last 16. However, Dhofar are favourites to overcome Al Khabourah challenge as they have a very good squad.
Once again, the draw puts Bausher in a derby and this time when they clash with the neighbours Oman club. Bausher, who are leading their group in the first division league, were able to oust two OPL teams during the last two rounds, Al Ouruba in last 32, and Muscat in last 16. On the other side, Oman club came from behind to beat Al Rustaq 3-1 in last round. The match will be at Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex at 19:45.
The last eight of HM’s Cup includes six teams from OPL and two teams from the First Division League, which showed the improvement of the first-division sides especially Bausher, who are on right track to qualify to Omantel Professional League next season.