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Al Nahdha lift maiden HM Cup


Al Nahdha lifted their maiden title after defeating defending and four-time champions Seeb Club 1-0 in a thrilling concluding match of the 2022-23 His Majesty’s Cup football championship on Thursday night.

At the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex (SQSC), Anters Oxsins netted the all-important goal to take his team to the long-awaited title. The triumph also ended the Al Buraimi Governorate club’s bad luck in HM Cup finals after they ended as runners-up for three times with no goals.

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Coached by experienced national coach Hamed al Azani, the Al Buraimi-based team converted their top show this season into a first title by winning the coveted cup. Al Nahdha will look for another victory by snatching the title of the top domestic league as the team is leading the league order and moving in the right track.

Later the chief guest, Sayyid Badr bin Hamad al Busaidy, Foreign Minister, gave away the prestigious Cup and gold medals to Al Nahdha players while the silver medals went to Seeb players.

The AFC Cup champions, cheered by a strong crowd, began the first half strongly through moves by Salah al Yahyaei, Mohsin al Ghassani and Mohammed al Habsi.

In the 13th minute, Al Habsi tried to capitalise on Al Nahdha defender’s mistake but his shot went over the net.

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Later, Hamed al Azani side showed more discipline and created some attacking movements. In the 19th minute, referee Yahya al Balushi awarded a penalty for Al Nahdha as Omar al Malki was brought down inside the box after a tough interface with the Seeb goalkeeper Ahmed al Rawahi. The penalty was converted successfully into a goal by Anters Oxsins Gee in the 20th minute.

Seeb’s Ajibola Daneil received a yellow card in the 23rd minute. Two minutes later, Seeb’s reply was strong as Salah al Yahyaei sent a strong ball outside the box but it was saved perfectly by Al Nahdha’s goalie Ibrahim al Mukhaini.

Seeb strikers pressed hard in the last minutes of the half to score the equaliser but Al Nahdha’s goalkeeper Ibrahim al Mukhaini and the strong defending line broke all the attempts. The first half ended with Al Buraimi Governorate club leading by 1-0.

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Coach Rasheed Jaber’s instructions during the break were clear to the players to start the deciding half with more attacks.

Abdulaziz al Maqbali, Ajibola, Mohsin al Ghassani and Mohammed al Habsi missed several scoring attempts in the first fifteen minutes. On the other hand, rivals Al Nahdha returned with a tight defence.

Later on, Al Nahdha depended on the long range strikes to find a second goal. In the 65th minute, Nasser al Shamali tried to double the score as he managed to hit a shot near to the box but it was saved by Seeb’s Ahmed al Rawahi.

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Ten minutes to end the match, Rasheed Jaber did a substitution by entering Marwan Awlad Wadi as replacement for Mohammed al Habsi.

Al Nahdha players tightened the back side strongly and Seeb’s players could not penetrate the defence and goalie Ibrahim al Mukhaini was perfect in saving many attempts.

The match ended with the only goal scored in the first half in a penalty through Inters Gui, who scored the most important goal for Al Nahdha in this competition.

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