MUSCAT, Nov 30
The Oman Football Association (OFA) concluded the longest 2019/2020 season on a successful note.
The season ended with crowning Dhofar as champions of the HM Cup after they edged their opponents Al Oruba in a penalty shootout 5-4 after a goalless draw in the regulation and extra time to lift their ninth title in style.
The triumph of Salalah giant levelled them with Fanja’s record of nine titles. Coach Rasheed Jaber’s men added another accomplishment to the team this season after their Super Cup victory in September 2020.
Dhofar fans celebrated on Sunday near the headquarters of the club inside vehicles. Dhofar players will arrive on Tuesday to Salalah and due to the current situation of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there will not be any kind of gathering or celebrations.
Shaikh Ali bin Ahmed al Rawas, the chairman of Dhofar club, expressed his joy after claiming the prestigious title. “One of the objectives that I would like to achieve during my chairmanship at Dhofar is registering the record and reaching the tenth title of the HM Cup. I hope we can accomplish this dream in the following season,” he added.
The chief of Dhofar club said this season was exceptional and very lengthy due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. “Despite the obstacles, the team managed to win the HM Cup title. I was following up personally all the small details including the admin and technical staff to prevent any mistakes could happen. This was one of the supported factors to have this success,” he ended
Salalah based star and former national team player Hani al Dhabit affirmed that Dhofar was awaiting this title since 2011.
“The coveted cup came in a right time after team’s missed the league title and positioned in as runner up. A dedicated thanks to all the technical, admin and Dhofar heroes and another special thanks to the chairman for their top contribution and efforts,” he said.
The experienced national head coach of Dhofar, Rasheed Jaber, stated that the HM Cup was one of our top targets for the team this season.
“The coveted cup was vital to us more than the league competition and HM Cup is ranked as top domestic competition. Obviously, league is another crucial competition but this edition of the HM Cup was targeted by all the local teams and we managed to lift the title,” he added.
Commenting on his messages to the players during the regulation and extra time breaks, Coach Rasheed responded: ”I informed the players during the break that they are the best and have the right technical capability and ability to end the match. We reserve the title.
This message translated very well by the players. On the other hand, Al Oruba was a very tough opponent especially they entered the game to escape their relegation to the first division league and end the season with the HM Cup title”.
Dhofar striker Qasim Said pointed out that the coveted cup was the top domestic assignment for the team this season.
“During the previous technical staff led by the Tunisian coach Ayman al Zulfani, then the Egyptian coach Mohammed Azeemah and now with coach Rasheed Jaber, the plan was to lift the HM Cup title besides other aims. The team succeeded to clinch the title of the showpiece event.” he said.
Commenting after the team played with reduced number of players in second half, “I was confident that we will not suffer and can return to the match. We have the right experienced players who had played in many finals and that supported us to manage winning the title,” he concluded.
Dhofar player Lopez Hugo said that this glittering trophy that needed by the team. ”We managed to win this crucial title and it came in the right time. We were very enthusiastic for this victory and finally it happened. My teammates delivered fantastic final game and we reserve this title,” he ended.
Adil Al Balushi