Muscat, March 7 - Khalid al Hajri’s hat-trick and goals from Bekai Lawsen and Yaseen al Shiyabi sealed a historic tenth HM Cup crown for Dhofar as they thumped Suwaiq 5-1 in the 2020/2021 HM Cup Football final on Sunday night at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex.
The victory meant the Salalah giants snatched the second crown in a row within four months and the tenth title in history after triumphs in 1976, 1980, 1981, 1990, 1999, 2004, 2006, 2011 and 2020 editions.
The champions’ goals were struck by Khalid al Hajri, Bekai Lawsen and Yaseen al Shiyabi while the consolation goal of Al Suwaiq was scored by Omran al Hedi.
Sayyid Saud bin Hilal al Busaidy, Minister of State and Governor of Muscat, the chief guest handed over Dhofar players the gold medals and the coveted cup while Al Suwaiq’s players received the silver medals. The final match was attended by HH Sayyid Theyazin bin Haitham al Said, the Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, top dignitaries and officials.
Same as the finals, both coaches began the match assuring full protection of the defence side to avoid receiving any early goals. In the fifteen minutes, Rasheed Jaber’s men were the best through their active movements in the ground and reaching to Mazin al Kasbi zone.
Dhofar attempted to open their account as Bekai Lawsen, Khalid al Hajri and Abdulla Fawaz made penetrative manoeuvres but Al Suwaiq’s defence was awake to break all the moves on a couple of occasions.
After a series of movements towards Suwaiq’s net, the national team striker Khalid al Hajri managed to score the opening goal in the 19th minute after sending a strong ball to the net.
Despite leading the Salalah giants, coach Haleem Shaker’s battalion remained quiet and returned back while Dhofar players pressed hard to score the second goal and increase the chances of winning the game.
Omar al Malki had another scoring opportunity to increase the margin but his shot was saved by Mazin al Kasbi in the 32nd minute. Seven minutes later, Al Suwaiq registered their first appearance in the match as Yaseen al Shiyadi sent a long ball to Al Abd al Noufli who converted header and returned back to Omran al Hedi who slotted the ball into the net and equalised the result to 1-1.
Al Suwaiq’s joy did not last for long as Lawsen Bikai netted the second goal for Dhofar in the dying minutes of the first half which ended with the Salalah giants leading 2-1.
Coach Hakeem Shaker commenced the second half with three substitutions respectively as Mohammed al Ghassani, Yousef al Malki and Philip Ackah replaced Hassan al Saadi, Hatim al Hamhami and Khalil al Alawi.
Dhofar’s tough defensive line denied all of Suwaiq’s forward attempts and close all the spaces for penetration into the scoring zone.
Khalid al Hajri powered Dhofar’s lead as he struck the third goal in the 62nd minute after conversion of the long ball pass from Motaz Saleh through a strong header into the net.
Dhofar cemented their domination of the game through well monitoring in the centre and creating more attacks to the front side.
Khalid al Hajri confirmed Dhofar’s victory as he struck the fourth goal for the team and a third personal goal in the match in the 85th minute.
In the closing minutes of the match, the substitute Yaseen al Sheikh showed Dhofar’s credentials as well-deserving champions as he struck the fifth goal which ended the match 5-1 in favour of Dhofar.