Muscat, Dec 17 – Defending champions Ahli Sidab will look for a record 12th title when they take on Al Nasr in the final clash of the 49th His Majesty’s Cup hockey championship on Thursday. The final will start at 6.15 pm at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Bausher under auspices of Shaikh Saif bin Mohammed al Shabibi, Minister of Housing, in presence of dignitaries and officials. Al Salam claimed the third place award for first time in history after beating Seeb in the third/fourth place play-off. The winners will receive a cash prize of RO 40,000 alongside the trophy and gold medals. The runners-up will get RO 25,000 and silver medals. The third place award is a cash prize of RO 15,000 and bronze medals.
Al Nasr, Seeb, Ahli Sidab, Sohar, Al Salam and Salalah clubs reached to the final round after a tough competition at the earlier stages. Seeb thrashed Salalah 7-3 in the first round while Al Salam and Sohar match ended in a 2-2 draw. Al Nasr outplayed Salalah 4-1, while Ahli Sidab blanked Sohar 4-0. In the third round matches, Sohar bounced back to beat Salalah 3-0, Al Nasr defeated Seeb 4-3 and Ahli Sidab registered a crucial 6-4 win over Al Salam. Seeb registered another victory in the fourth round as they thumped Sohar 7-3 while Ahli Sidab recorded a 3-1 win over Salalah. Al Nasr stunned Al Salam 1-0.
Al Salam advanced into the next round after beating Salalah 4-2 while Al Nasr booked their spot to the same round after beating Sohar. Ahli Sidab thrashed Seeb 8-2 to reach to the final round alongside with Seeb. In the final round, Seeb, Ahli Sidab, Al Salam and Al Nasr advanced into the last stage as they accumulated top points in this stage. In the semifinal round, Al Nasr secured a spot in the final as they outplayed Batinah club Al Salam 4-1, while Ahli Sidab booked slot in the final as they edged Seeb 2-1. Eleven clubs took part in the oldest domestic competition in the Sultanate. All the teams were distributed into three groups. Six teams advanced to the final rounds as Al Nasr, Seeb, Ahli Sidab, Sohar, Al Salam and Salalah secured their spot in this round.
SURPRISES FOR FANS
The officials had announced earlier that many prizes and surprises will be waiting for the fans who will be present at the concluding match of the coveted cup. As many as 100 vouchers and coupons from the sponsors will be distributed for the fans before and during the match. Al Obaidani Shops, Auto Sport and Mwasalat provided many facilities and coupons for the spectators to encourage them for their presence in the event. The Oman Hockey Association has implemented the VAR (Video Assistant Referee) system in all the matches of the tournament.