Muscat, Mar 8
Defending champions Seeb will take on Al Nahda, who are looking to win the coveted title for the first time, in the 2022-23 His Majesty’s Cup football final on Thursday.
The final clash will take place at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Bausher with kick off at 7:30 pm under auspices of Sayyid Badr bin Hamad al Busaidy, Foreign Minister, in presence of top dignitaries.
Coach Hamed al Azani’s men are keen to lift the long-awaited title. Al Buraimi’s representative club is delivering top show in this season as the team is currently leading the top domestic league.
Al Nahda featured top faces in the team that can make the difference in Thursday’s encounter including the best goalkeeper in the last edition of Gulf Cup, Ibrahim al Mukhaini, besides other national team players Ahmed al Kaabi, Al Munthir al Alawi, Mansoor al Nuaimi and professional player Arsini Loko. The team suffered a big blow after Yemeni player Abdulwasa al Matari got injured and was hospitalised.
Al Nahda reached the final on three occasions including 2008, 2013 and 2014. The players expect to end this final on a triumphant note.
SEEB EYE FIFTH TITLE
The rivals, Seeb, on the other hand will eye their fifth Cup and to regain the title. Seeb players are experienced in the final clashes and equipped with the desired skills and tactics to end the finals with a positive result. The AFC Cup champions, coached by national experienced coach Rasheed Jaber, have many key players including many stars of the national team like Salah al Yahyaei, Eid al Farsi, Mohammed al Musallami, Abdulaziz al Maqbali and Ali al Busaidy besides striker Mohsin al Ghassani.
Al Nahda progressed into the final of the prestigious HM Cup after edging past Al Rustaq 1-0 in an exciting return semifinal encounter at Al Buraimi Sports Complex on February 25 while the first-leg match ended in a goalless draw on February 20.
Seeb secured a slot in the final after they picked up an aggregate 3-0 win over Al Suwaiq in the semifinals after winning 3-0 in the return leg on February 26 and a goalless draw in the first leg on February 20.
JABER, AL AZANI PROMISE TOP TUSSLE
Coach Rasheed Jaber voiced confidence in the Seeb team that had played many finals. “Seeb players are very used to the final games and they are very familiar on how to deal with this kind of encounters. The HM Cup finals are classified as tough matches as it normally end on small details. Our opponent is a very tough team and they are delivering top performance in the local competitions,” Jaber added in the press conference on Wednesday.
The former national team coach said the team is creating many scoring attempts in all the games with no luck in finishing. “I am expecting a top technical and tactical match as both teams are comprised of top players,” he said.
Seeb player Salah al Yahyaei said facing Al Nahda in the final will be tough. “We are fully prepared to meet Al Nahda. There was slight drop in my technical performance during the past period but I am back now with better technical status. We will deliver our best in the final,” he said.
Al Nahda head coach Hamed al Azani said it is a golden opportunity for his team to claim its first title.
“Congratulations to both teams on reaching the final. The way to the final was very difficult. This is a golden opportunity for us to break our bad luck in the finals after four attendance in the final matches. Despite that there are some major absences in the team, but there are other members in the squad in full readiness,” he said.
The former national team head coach opined that leading the Omantel League does not have an impact on final.
“Each competition has its own characteristics. Reaching the final means the team is very close to achieve the desired title. I am fully confident on the players to snatch the title,” he concluded.
Al Nahda player Mansoor al Nuaimi affirmed that the team is in a best technical shape for the title clash. “We are very ambitious to show top game. We are having top players and everyone is focused on the final,” he said.