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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Sohar script HM’s Cup success with collective effort

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MUSCAT, DEC 20


Sohar’s success story in the 53rd His Majesty’s Cup hockey championship is not mere coincidence but result of collaborative effort from the early stages, according to head coach Abdulrahman al Balushi.


“We had good preparation ahead of the prestigious tournament. We had a good presence of some of our best players who were earlier in other clubs along with international professionals from India, Argentina and Egypt,” Abdulrahman told Oman Daily Observer.


“It was a collective effort from the players, the coaching and technical staff to the administrators,” an elated Sohar coach said.


In the exciting final at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Bausher on Tuesday night, Sohar did not allow the free-flowing style of Ahli Sidab.


The 12-time champions had to sweat it out to break through the tight defence of Sohar. And, whenever they managed to enter the D, Sohar goalkeeper Fahad al Noufali and the defenders came to the rescue.


Sohar defended the five penalty corners they conceded to Ahli Sidab in the final.


Sohar and Ahli Sidab players fight for the ball. -- Abdulwahid al Hamdani
Sohar and Ahli Sidab players fight for the ball. -- Abdulwahid al Hamdani


“The boys did really well to defend the five penalty corners from Ahli Sidab. On most occasions our players were quick to react and Ahli Sidab players did not get the time to rush their shots in,” the Ahli Sidab head coach said.


“The final went according to our plans and tactics, thanks to the whole-hearted efforts of the players, Abdulrahman added.


He praised Sohar players’ determination in the penalty shoot-out by scoring from all four attempts to clinch the trophy 4-2. Ahli Sidab brothers Khalid al Shuabi and Ammar al Shuabi both missed their attempts.


The match went into penalties after a last-second equaliser from Ahli Sidab captain Rashad al Fazari that cancelled Sohar’s 1-0 lead taken in the 47th minute by Ahmed al Noufali from a penalty corner.


TECHNICAL QUALITY


Oman Hockey Association (OHA) Chairman Dr Marwan bin Juma al Juma said it was a highly technical final.


“Both the teams played with good technical quality and it was a perfect final for the HM’s Cup. Sohar were deserving champions after their impressive campaign throughout the tournament,” Dr Marwan said.


individual awards
individual awards


“Overall this edition of HM’s Cup showed lot of promise with the teams putting up spirited performances. There were no easy matches unlike the past with all the clubs raising good challenges to the higher ranked opponents,” the OHA chief added.


Ahli Sidab head coach Ayman al Kathiri was disappointed not to clinch the double after winning the Oman Hockey League title earlier.


“We tried our best, but it was not our day. Rashad’s last-gasp goal gave us an opportunity in the penalty shoot-out that we could not utilise properly,” Al Kathiri said.


Among the individual awards, Sohar’s Al Khader al Noufali was selected as the best player of the tournament.


Salalah’s Amjed al Hassani got the best goalkeeper award, while Seeb’s Abdulwaheed Ashraf became the top-scorer with six goals in the tournament.


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