Eleven-time champions Seeb began their His Majesty’s Cup hockey campaign with a brilliant 7-4 win against 10-time champions Ahli Sidab in a high-voltage start to the 2018 edition of the tournament on Wednesday.
In the second match, Dhofar edged Al Salam 3-2 in a closely fought encounter.
Seeb, runner-ups of the last edition, staged a comeback into the match after Ahli Sidab went ahead 2-0 at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Bausher.
Mohammed Raheel put Ahli-Sidab, coached by former Oman coach K K Poonacha, in lead in the third minute and India international Rupinder Pal Singh netted the second for them in the 11th minute.
Seeb, coached by Egyptian Osama Hasnain, pulled one back through Ismail Omar ahead of the half-time break.
In the third quarter, Seeb went all-out on attack and made it 2-2 when Mohammed Dilber hit the target. Qasim Moosa’s then hit a brace that put Seeb 4-2 ahead before the last quarter. In the fourth quarter, Rupinder reduced the margin for Ahli Sidab and Rashad Salim made it 4-4 in the 50th minute.
In the final minutes, Seeb pushed hard and Ahli Sidab went down with Dilber putting Seeb in lead again 5-4. Moosa and Owais Ahmed stunned Ahli Sidab with two goals within a minute to complete a 7-4 victory.
DHOFAR EDGE AL SALAM
In the late match of the day, Waqas Choudhary opened the scoring for Dhofar in the fourth minute.
However, Al Salam came back strongly to take the lead 2-1 as Mohammed Munir (26th) and Shan Irshad (32nd minute) hit the target.
Dhofar could not muster any more moves that could result in goals in the next 20 minutes of play.
The former champions finally found an equaliser in the 54th minute through Abdullah Mohammed.
Mohammad Ahmed netted the all-important winner in the 56th minute to hand full points to Dhofar in their first match of the tournament. Eight teams are taking part in the tournament, which will conclude on December 17.