Muscat: National team player Abdulaziz al Muqbali revived the chances of his team Dhofar to secure a slot in the final of the prestigious HM Cup as he struck the equlaiser in the dying minutes against Al Nahda late on Tuesday.
At Al Buraimi Sports Complex, Al Nahdha missed a golden opportunity to put a foot in the final match as they ended the match in a 1-1 draw but all the probabilities are still available for both teams in the second leg match of the semifinal on March 17 at Salalah Sports Complex.
Former Oman player Mansoor al Nuiami put the hosts ahead in the seventh minute after referee Mahmood al Majrafi awarded a penalty for them. The first goal in the match increased the excitement of the game as Dhofar strikers raised their scoring attempts against Al Nahda.
The first half ended with the hosts leading 1-0. During the break, Egyptian’s coach Mohammed Adhema gave a pep talk to his players as Dhofar came back determined to make an impact. Dhofar top-scorer Hugo Lopez from Spain had scored a hat-trick in the previous match against Al Nahda in the 19th week of Omantel League on Saturday.
Besides to the Spanish forward, talented Al Mundhir al Alawi and former national player Qasim Said boosted the Salalah giants' attacking in the second half. Despite the tight defence line of the hosts, the guests broke it after a series of attempts as Abdulaziz's header went to the net in the dying minutes prior to the referee's final whistle.
IBRI CONTINUE FORM
In an earlier semifinal first leg match, Ibri registered a 2-1 victory against Al Oruba in the former’s home at Ibri Youth Complex. The Al Dhahirah team were close to register a 2-0 win but for Ahmed Salem’s goal for Al Oruba in the 91st minute. Despite the loss, the Omantel League team can advance to the final if they score a 1-0 win in the second leg match in Sur on March 17.
Ibri began the match with better focus and they managed to score two goals by Omar al Musalami and Deoop Enda. In the second half, Al Oruba raised their attacking moves which culminated in Ahmed Saleem finding a goal against the first division club.