Muscat: Dhofar and Al Suwaiq will face off in the curtain raiser of the Omani football season 2017/2018, the Super Cup. The one off fixture will kick off at 19:30 at Seeb Sports Stadium. Dhofar, who won the Omantel Professional League last season, will try to avenge from Al Suwaiq who defeated them in His Majesty’s Final Cup.
The 15th edition of Super Cup since it was first held in 1999, is expected to be very exciting as both Dhofar and Suwaiq are the favourites to compete for the domestic competitions as they had lot of high-profile moves in the summer transfer window.
Ahead of Saturday’s first official match of the season, the well-known Romanian Ilie Balaci, Al Suwaiq manager, seemed a bit pessimistic about the preparation of the team for the encounter.
In the pre-match press conference held in Seeb Stadium yesterday, Al Suwaiq’s new Romanian manage Ilie Balaci said: “What can we do tomorrow as I have only met the whole squad for only two days?”
“I travelled to Salalah camp with 16 players, two of them had injuries and the rest were youngsters.’’
“I tried to prepare and improve the youngsters and I hope we do a good game tomorrow.’’
Balaci added that “In such one off fixture games, you need to concentrate hard and we will try our best to be prepared at least mentally.’’
“We are happy to play the curtain raiser of the season, however, I am not happy for our preparations for the season.”
On the other side, Dhofar’s new Romanian manager Florin said: “It is a very important game for us to start the season with a very good motivation.’’
“I am sure that my men will be in their form to add new achievement for Dhofar.’’
“We have well prepared for the game and we are in a very good shape.’’ Florin added. “I have 26 players who are ready for the game and I have many options for the lineups, but I will start with the most prepared players.’’
“The 10-day Turkish camp was very successful and it gave me a chance to enhance my relationship with the players and knew their skills,” Florin concluded. The last year’s OPL champions Dhofar played six friendly matches in preparation for the season, winning in five and drawing in one against Al Suwaiq.
Al Suwaiq played seven friendly matched: won in two games, drew in two and lost in three games.
Jaber Al Ajmi