MUSCAT: Al Nasr and Al Nahdha teams played out a 2-2 draw at Al Saada Sports Complex Stadium in the fifth round of the Omantel League on Saturday.
The match began with a competitive display of skills. Both teams displayed resilient defence, thwarting attacks and maintaining a deadlock at the goal.
Al Nasr showcased two dangerous attacks early on, skillfully executed but unfortunately missed by Walid al Musalmi.
In the 17th minute, Al Nasr broke the deadlock with an impressive goal by Abdul Majeed Shammas, seizing an opportunity during a counter-attack. The goal shook Al Nahdha, motivating them to launch a series of attacks. Hamoud al Saadi's attempt was close but missed the target. From a counter-attack, Ahmed al Kaabi almost equalised the score with a shot that Al Nasr’s goalkeeper aptly took into a corner kick, ending the course of the first half with Al Nasr leading by one goal.
The second half witnessed heightened intensity, with Al Nahdha pressing hard to take control and adjust the scoreline. In a pivotal moment during a counterattack in the 57th minute, Al Nasr's professional player, Philip, secured a crucial goal, bolstering Al Nasr's lead.
However, Al Nahdha showed resilience and determination, scoring the first in the 60th minute with Abdullah Fawaz's powerful shot that went past Al Nasr goalkeeper Hassan al Buraiki. The match remained intense until the 86th minute when substitute Esam al Subhi made a crucial header, levelling the score at 2-2. The match's exciting conclusion left both teams with a hard-fought draw.
With this result, Al Nahdha's total points now stand at 8 from 4 matches, maintaining their position in fourth place, including a postponed match. Al Nasr's balance increased to 5 points, securing the seventh position.
AL RUSTAQ FALL AGAIN
In a separate matchup, Al Rustaq, last season's fifth-place finisher in the Omantel League, suffered their second consecutive defeat this season, falling to Al Shabab with a score of 3-2 in a fiercely contested fifth-round match at Al Rustaq Stadium.
Emerson, the standout player of the match, initiated the scoring for Al Shabab in the 9th minute, with Kebegbe subsequently equalising for Al Rustaq from a penalty kick in the 37th minute.
Kebegbe provided a second goal for Al Rustaq in the 56th minute, but Emerson once again levelled the score for Al Shabab in the 68th minute. He went on to secure the three points for his team by completing a hat-trick with a goal in the 85th minute, making him the first hat-trick scorer in the new season of the Omani League.
As a result, Al Rustaq remain with 3 points from 5 matches, facing a challenging start to the season after their strong performance last year. Meanwhile, Al Shabab, buoyed by Emerson's heroics, advanced from the bottom of the league standings to the seventh in the table with total points to five.
DHOFAR HOLD AL SEEB
The thrilling action in the Omantel League continued as Al Seeb and Dhofar battled to a positive 2-2 draw on Saturday evening at Seeb Stadium in the fifth round.
The first half concluded with both teams locked in a 1-1 tie. Al Seeb took the lead through Mohsin al Ghassani's header in the 13th minute, while Abdullah al Mishrafi equalised for Dhofar Club in the 26th minute.
The excitement continued into the second half as Tamim al Balushi secured the lead again for Al Seeb in the 56th minute. Dhofar Club responded with determination, equalising through Qasim Saeed.
Al Seeb's point total now stands at 10, trailing behind Sohar, who lead with 11 points but retains another opportunity for advancement. Al Seeb also have a postponed match against Ibri, a first-round fixture rescheduled due to their participation in the AFC Champions League.
Dhofar now have 7 points, placing them on equal footing with Al Nahdha in fourth place, who have a better goal difference.