Al Nasr set up Al Nahda final

MUSCAT: Al Nasr booked a place in their second consecutive Mazda Professional Cup final after edging Al Oruba in penalties as they see their chance of making a place in history by defending their title successfully. Al Nahda beat Sohar also in penalties in the second semifinal. The first semifinal at the Sur Stadium was a cagey affair, with both goalkeepers and backlines on point. The game ended goalless, first in normal time and then in the extra time. The scoreline is misleading though, as the young players who took the pitch brought plenty of action and energy to the game but just weren’t able to turn the tide of the game with a decisive moment. The back and forth continued in the penalty shootout as well with Al Nasr ultimately keeping their composure to win 5-4.

At the Buraimi Sports Complex, Al Nahda denied Sohar a shot at redemption after their final defeat the previous season. It was even stevens at the end of the first half with a goal apiece from each side. It was the professional players on either side, Abraham Bast for Al Nahda and Andrey Antuhi for Sohar, who notched goals for their sides in the 4th and 23rd minutes respectively. A hard fought second half saw neither team break the deadlock — with the game turning to the extra time. Al Nahda took the lead in the 99th minute once more, Bast adding another to secure a brace. Not to be outdone by his counterpart — Antuhi also scored a second in the 112th minute, leaving the game to be decided by penalties. Al Nahda kept level heads as Ali al Hinai slotted home the winning penalty to take the tie 5-3 after the penalty shootout. They now face defending champions Al Nasr in the final.