Defending champions Dhofar will face Seeb in a blockbuster semifinal first leg of the 2020-21 His Majesty’s Cup Football Championship. Three-time winners Al Suwaiq will take on Al Ittihad, who are chasing their first title, in the other semifinal first leg match.
The last-four stage draw of the prestigious championship was held on Wednesday at the Oman Football Association (OFA) headquarters in presence of Fahad bin Abdullah al Raisi, Secretary-General and Executive Director at OFA, Faisal al Tamimi, General Director of Qatar National Bank, OFA officials and the representatives of the qualified clubs.
The first leg of the semifinals will be held on February 26 as Seeb will host Dhofar at Seeb Stadium and Al Ittihad will take on Al Suwaiq at Al Saada Sports Complex.
In the return-leg matches, which will take place on March 2, Dhofar will meet Seeb at the Al Saada Sports Complex while al Suwaiq will face Al Ittihad at Al Rustaq Sports Complex.
Chairman of Dhofar club, Shaikh Ali bin Ahmed al Rawas, commented post the draw ceremony event and said the fixtures of the semifinals were balanced and expected. “My expectation was to meet Seeb in the stage and it came right. We have full confidence in our players to proceed further with the positive results and manage to defend the title,” he said.
Earlier on Tuesday, Al Suwaiq sailed into the semis after registering a tough win over unfancied Ibri in penalty shoot-out at the Al Rustaq Sports Complex.
The return match ended 1-0 in the regulation time and it is the same result which was completed in the first-leg match for the hosts at Ibri Sports Complex on February 5. Khalil al Alawi scored the all-important goal for the hosts in the dying minutes to revive Al Suwaiq chances in the top domestic competition and spoiled Ibri fans joy.
Later, both teams moved to the extra time and then to the penalty shoot-out in which Al Suwaiq won 6-5. In the penalties, Filip, Abdullah al Saadi, Esam al Subhi, Khalil al Alawi, Yousef al Malki and goalkeeper Mazin al Kasbi — all scored for Al Suwaiq.
For Ibri, Silva, Yaqoob al Ghafri, Ilyas, Mohammed al Battashi and Emerson converted the penalties. Ahmed al Mujaini’s shot was saved by former national goalkeeper Mazin al Kasbi to put his team through to the semifinals.
AL ITTIHAD PREVAIL
In the late match on Tuesday, Al Ittihad knocked out Al Nahda with a 2-0 win at Al Saada Sports Complex. The Dhofar-based team benefited from the first-leg match in which they scored an away goal in their 2-1 defeat to Al Nahda at the Al Buraimi Sports Complex on February 6.
In the return match, Abdulmajeed Shimas and Junior scored the winning goals for the hosts.
Seeb and Dhofar have sealed their slots in the semifinals round as the defending champions edged Al Musannah 3-0 in the quarterfinal second leg at Al Rustaq Sports Complex on Monday night while the first match ended for Salalah giants 2-0 at Al Saada Sports Complex on February 6.
Seeb thrashed Saham 3-0 in the return match after the home match saw a 1-0 win for hosts at Seeb Stadium on February 5.