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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Dhofar stamp authority with 10th title

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Muscat, March 8 -


Dhofar cemented their domination in the domestic football events as they lifted the historic 10th title by winning the HM Cup football championship 2020-21. The well-deserved victory made after coach Rasheed Jaber’s men thrashed Al Suwaiq 5-1 in the final at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex on Sunday night. Dhofar did not face any challenge from opponents Al Suwaiq as they cruised for an easy win. Khalid al Hajri was man of the match as he netted three goals besides to Lawsen Bikai and Yaseen al Shaikh goals.


Al Hajri tweeted from his personal twitter account: ”Thanks to God for the 10th title and it is first for me personally.”


After his top show on Sunday night, Al Hajri has made his stake high for a national team place.


The striker will be keenly monitored by national team head coach Branko Ivankovic during the Oman team camp which will begin in Muscat on Tuesday.


Due to his unstable health condition, Dhofar Chairman Shaikh Ali bin Ahmed al Rawas did not attend the final match and Abubaker Naji, deputy chairman, was present for the podium ceremony. The players, administration and technical coaching staff dedicated their victory to Al Rawas wishing him a quick recovery.


HISTORIC MOMENT


Naji affirmed that it was a historic moment for the team to lift the coveted cup two times within four months. “Like everyone, I didn’t expect us to win the match with such a good margin. Our players delivered very high level performance and controlled the proceedings. In Dhofar club, we are not only having nine players from the national team but our substitution list featured top players as well. After this accomplishment, our plan is to focus in the league competition,” he ended.


Dhofar’s celebration were muted in Salalah city due to the ongoing situation of pandemic.


Dhofar media center had announced in twitter account that gathering of crowds are not allowed to celebrate due to the restrictions over Covid-19.


Coach Jaber, said that retaining the title was as an internal challenge for the team since beginning of the season. “We managed to handle this challenge successfully despite many difficulties. Dhofar won the title after superiority on the ground and Al Suwaiq is a well-organised team but due to some technical mistakes the team could not make come back into the match. I believe third goal was the turning point in the match when Al Suwaiq players dropped back and we benefited to score fourth and fifth goals,” the coach added.


TECHNICAL DIFFERENCE


Iraqi coach Hakeem Shaker clarified the reasons for the defeat. “There were huge technical differences between Dhofar and Al Suwaiq players. In addition to that, the Salalah giants were prepared nicely with full coordination of players and that showed in the final,” Shaker said.


Al Suwaiq’ coach said he tried to reduce gaps in the defence but individual mistakes cost the team a lot. “The second and third goals came from blunders by our players which converted the match totally to Dhofar side. Almost all the substitutions were due to necessary situations rather than tactical purpose,” the Iraqi coach added.


Fahad bin Abdullah al Raisi, newly-appointed Secretary- General and Executive Director of OFA, affirmed that the match was organised under strict medical protocols and according to the instructions of the Supreme Committee.


MEDICAL PROTOCOL


“We were very keen to implement all the medical protocol measures through minimising number of attendees, applying the social distancing, following the personal protective measures including wearing face masks. I would like to thank all the attendees for following the medical procedures to ensure safety of everyone,” he said.


Al Raisi said the medal ceremony did not last for long and it was very simple. “Congratulations to Dhofar team and hard luck for Al Suwaiq team. Special thanks to both teams for their understanding and adherence to all the rules and regulations,” he ended.


 


Adil Al Balushi


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