His Majesty's Cup Football Championship: Champion Al Nasr, Suwaiq knocked out
Defending champion Al Nasr suffered a shock exit at the hands of former winners, Seeb, in the 2018-19 His Majesty's Cup Football Championship round-of-32 on a Wednesday night when the holder was joined in the exit parade by three-time winners, Al Suwaiq, and former domestic league champion, Al Nahda.
Eight-time winners Dhofar along with two-time champions Oman and former multiple winners, Al Arouba, restored a semblance of order as they won their respective knockout matches to advance to the last-16 stage. Joining them on Wednesday were Yanqul, Majees and Al Bashayer in the round-of-16, which will be played on October 7.
Both Seeb and Al Bashayer, which edged past Suwaiq in a penalty shootout 5-4 after the teams were locked in a 1-1 stalemate, currently are playing in the Oman Football Association (OFA) First Division League and upset their rivals, who feature in the Oman Professional League.
Seeb's Ivory Coast player Ibrahima struck a brace in its victory over Al Nasr at the Seeb Sports Stadium. Ibrahima’s last-gasp winner came at the end of extra-time, after the regulation time ended in a 1-1 draw.
Al Nasr (five titles), Suwaiq (three) and Ahli-Sidab (five) share a total of 13 titles in the 46-year old tournament history.
Fanja, with nine triumphs, holds the record of most titles.
Dhofar, which is chasing Fanja's record of nine, staved off a tough challenge from Muscat, winning by a solitary goal, thanks to a third-minute strike from Harib al Saadi, at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex.
Oman was at its rampant best as it hammered hosts Nizwa 5-0 at the Nizwa Sports Complex. Hosts Al Arouba, which last won the title in 2015, outplayed Ahli-Sidab 2-0 at the Sur Sports Complex.
At the ROP Stadium in Muscat, Yanqul was a 2-0 winner over Al Wasta while hosts Majees, which returned to top-flight league this season, was impressive in sending Al Nahda home with a 1-0 in front of its fans at the Sohar Sports Complex.
Following the exit of Saham (2016) on Tuesday, the winners of the last three editions – Suwaiq (2017) and Al Nasr – have all crashed out.
The draw of the round-of-16 will be held on September 25.
Results: Al Arouba 2 Ahli-Sidab 0, Muscat 0 Dhofar 1, Seeb 2 Al Nasr 1, Al Wasta 0 Yanqul 2, Majees 1 Al Nahda 0, Nizwa 0 Oman 5, Al Bashayer 1 Suwaiq 1 (won 5-4 on penalties).