MUSCAT, Dec 31 - Al Oruba, runners-up of 2019-20 His Majesty’s Cup football will begin the campaign in Round 32 against Salalah on Friday at Al Saada Sports Complex.
Saham, champions of 2015-16 edition, will take on Al Mudhaibi at Sohar Sports Complex. Ibri will host Mirbat at Ibri Sports Complex while Muscat will meet Samayil at Seeb Stadium.
The prestigious HM Cup Round 32 will continue on Saturday by six matches as three-time winners Al Suwaiq will take on Al Bashayer at Nizwa Sports Complex. Al Musannah will face off Al Shabab in southern Batinah clash at Al Rustaq Sports Complex.
Neighbours Sohar Club and Al Khabourah will meet at Sohar Sports Complex. Masirah will meet Al Rustaq at Sur Sports Complex. Oman Club will play against Jaalan at Seeb Stadium while Al Ittihad will clash with Al Ettifaq at the former’s home in Salalah Sports Complex.
The last five games of the Round 32 will conclude on Sunday as three-time winners Seeb will take on Al Talieah at Seeb Stadium while former champions Al Nasr (2017-18) will meet Bausher at Al Saada Sports Complex. Majees will play against Nizwa at Sohar Sports Complex. Four times winners Sur will clash with Bahla at Sur Sports Complex while Ahli Sidab will meet Al Nahda at the ROP Stadium.
As all the round of 32 fixtures will be elimination matches, all the competing teams will target to win the games to take a place in the last 16 round.
Based on history of previous editions of the HM Cup matches, surprises could happen a lot.
First division league representatives Al Mudhaibi will target to benefit from the struggling period of Saham after they finished at the bottom of the league table with 6 points. Al Mudhaibi registered their first victory in the league against Ibri, who had reached to the semifinals of the showpiece cup in the previous edition.
The capital city club, Muscat, will look to secure a spot in the next round as they meet fighting Samayil who had six points from the last three rounds of the first division league.
Al Oruba, meanwhile, aim to start strongly as they meet Dhofar-based team, Salalah, who had suffered two losses in the league against Bausher and Ahli Sidab.
Ibri will look forward to rekindle the memories of the past edition as they will face Mirbat, who were relegated from Omantel League last season. The Al Dhahirah-based team had registered strong start in the first division league as they beat Al Khabourah 2-1 in the opening round, won against Al Shabab 1-0 and suffered a 3-0 loss against Al Mudhaibi in the last week.
Defending champions Dhofar have been given direct seeding to the Round of 16. Dhofar were positioned seventh in the Omantel League after six points were deducted due to late obtaining of license permit for players.
Dhofar have won record nine HM Cup titles, similar to Fanja. The Salalah giants beat Al Oruba 5-4 on penalties after a goalless draw in 120 minutes in the recent final at Al Rustaq Sports Complex on November 29.