MUSCAT, AUG 18
In the inaugural match of 48th edition of the Omantel Football League for the 2023-2024 sports season, Al Rustaq and Sur teams played to a 1-1 draw on Thursday. Defending champions Al Nahda were also held to a 1-1 draw by Al Shabab in a later match.
In the first half at Sur Stadium, the hosts displayed stronger performance, securing numerous opportunities.
Notably, Ahed al Hudaifi nearly scored in the 20th minute. In contrast, the visiting team, Al Rustaq, assumed a more conservative approach and failed to create any significant chances. The first period saw both teams battling predominantly in midfield, resulting in no goals scored.
As the second half unfolded, both teams adopted an offensive stance, seeking to break the deadlock.
Al Rustaq striker Robert missed a scoring chance in the 60th minute. Sur then managed to break through with the first goal in the 67th minute, by Ahed al Hudaifi. Following this, Sur adopted a more defensive posture, while Al Rustaq pressed forward in search of an equaliser.
Despite several opportunities, Al Rustaq struggled to convert until Baki Wade levelled the score in the 90th minute, securing a tie with a penalty kick.
The match concluded with a 1-1 scoreline, awarding both teams one point each in the opening round of the tournament.
AL NAHDA START WITH DRAW
A positive 1-1 draw marked the encounter between Al Nahda and Al Shabab at Al Rustaq Sports Complex later on Thursday.
During the initial half, champions Al Nahda initiated the game with an attacking approach, dominating ball possession. Meanwhile, the host team, Al Shabab, adopted a cautious strategy, relying on counter-attacks.
A notable opportunity in the first half emerged from Al Shabab’s Bashar al Balushi, whose shot from outside the penalty area was skillfully blocked by Al Nahda goalkeeper Ibrahim al Mukhaini. Al Shabab managed to secure the first goal in the 45th minute, as Bashar al Balushi capitalised on a cross ball that evaded all Al Nahda players.
In the second half, Al Nahda’s coach introduced two substitutions that enabled them to gain control over the midfield. Al Nahda managed to equalise in the 77th minute through substitute player Omar al Maliki.
Despite their continued dominance, Al Nahda couldn’t secure a breakthrough against Al Shabab’s steadfast defence. As a result, the match between holders Al Nahda and newly promoted Al Shabab concluded in a 1-1 draw.