MUSCAT, Sept 18 - Defending champions Dhofar commenced their campaign with a crucial 2-1 win against Fanja in the opening round of the Omantel League at the Salalah Youth Sports Complex on Tuesday. Al Mundher al Alawi scored the winning goal in the dying minutes to give the Salalah giants their first three points. Hogu Lopez put Dhofar ahead in the fifth minute. Former national player Said al Ruzaiqi netted the equaliser for Fanja in the 30th minute. However, national team star Al Mundher al Alawi scored the all-important goal for Dhofar towards the end of regulation time.
Last season’s runners-up Al Nasr and Seeb, who returned to the top-tier league after an absence of three seasons, played out a goalless draw at the Seeb Stadium in presence of thousands of Seeb fans. The host players failed to break a tight defence by visiting Al Nasr, who also missed several chances to score. In the other matches on Sunday, Oman Club scored a narrow 1-0 win over Al Suwaiq at the Seeb Sports Stadium, the only goal coming for the hosts side in the 80th minute of the match through Ahmed al Adawi.
Al Rustaq registered a strong start as they thrashed Mirbat 3-0 at the recent opened Rustaq Sports Complex. Essam al Subhi was the star of the match as he scored the first and second goals for the hosts. His team-mate Mohammed al Ghafri also scored to make it 3-0 for Al Rustaq.
Suhar snatched a 2-0 victory over Al Oruba at the Suhar Sports Complex, while neighbours Saham secured an important victory against Muscat Club 3-1 at the Seeb Stadium.
In an early kick-off of the season on Saturday, Al Nahda, third in last edition, was held to a 2-2 draw by new comers Bahla at Al Buraimi Sports Complex. Five victories, two draw and 17 goals were the outcome of the opening round of the top domestic league.
The second week of the league will begin on Friday with three matches and conclude on Saturday.
Al Suwaiq will seek their first win when they face Al Nahda at Rustaq Sports Complex. Dhofar will travel to Sur to meet Al Oruba. The top teams of the first division league last season, Bahla and Rustaq, will be in a tight clash at Ibri Sports Complex. The three remaining matches will be resumed on Saturday as Suhar will travel to Dhofar Governorate to face Mirbat at Salalah Sports Complex. Seeb will take on Fanja at Seeb Stadium while Saham and Oman Club will play at Suhar Sports Complex.