Oman Club regains glory

February 14, 2019

Victorious Oman Club players celebrate with the trophy along with the guests after winning the title on Wednesday (Rodolfo Alfonso/Muscat Daily)

A wait that was more than two decades finally came to an end as Oman Club regained glory with a thrilling 25-24 win over defending champion Muscat in the final of Oman Handball Association (OHA) First Division League at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex (SQSC) on Wednesday.

However, the team, that is coached by former Muscat Club trainer, Kamal Madoun of Algeria, overcame a gritty Muscat side to send its crowd of supporters and support staff in raptures.

Muscat, which was eyeing a hat-trick of titles, was left rueing the dismissal of its goalkeeper, Amir al Dughaishi, with seven minutes remaining.

With the scores 22-19 in favour of Oman at that juncture, it was the turning point of a thriller that saw both teams play cat and mouse game with the scores oscillating from one team to another.

Both the teams had professionals in their ranks with Algerian Tarek Jawadi playing a key role for Muscat and Abdulmunam Mohsin from Tunisia, bringing in the experience for Oman.

At the half-way stage, not much separated the teams as Muscat led 12-9. However, a pep talk during the break from Madoun, had Oman stage a remarkable fightback to quickly draw level and then surge ahead,

Muscat was left to chase and the chase went till the last minute as it drew level 24-24 with just 30 seconds remaining. However, Oman found the winner just before the hooter.

Later, Muscat coaching staff strongly protested with the match officials on the stopwatch delay in the last minute after a foul.

Later speaking to Muscat Daily, Oman coach Madoun said, “It was a very tight match.

Muscat had its period of dominance in the first half but we were strong in the second half and deserved to victory.

“It is always nice to win trophies and I am lucky to have won with both the clubs.”

It was also a sweet revenge for Oman, which went down to Muscat in the final last year.

Sayyid Khalid al Busaidi, former Oman Football Association chief and chairman of Sabco Group, was the chief guest and gave away the awards in the presence of Said al Shahri, the OHA chief and other officials.

Sohar players received the bronze medals for their third-place finish.