Seeb to meet Ahli-Sidab in final; Al Nasr finishes third
Their long-standing rivalry goes back to eighties and even today, their matches are much-anticipated and have a lot at stake. Hockey powerhouses, Seeb and Ahli-Sidab, will once again clash for the coveted His Majesty's Cup Hockey Championship crown on Monday. The match kicks off at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex (SQSC) at 6pm.
H E Sheikh Saif bin Mohammed al Shabibi, Minister of Housing, will be the chief guest at the final .
Meanwhile, defending champion and seven-time winner Al Nasr, who lost to Ahli-Sidab in the semifinal on Friday, settled for the bronze after a hard-fought 3-1 win against Muscat in a shootout after the teams were locked in a 4-4 stalemate at the end of regulation time at the SQSC on Saturday.
Seeb and Ahli-Sidab share a total of 21 trophies between them and Ahli-Sidab, coached by former Oman coach, K K Poonacha, will provide a stern test for Seeb, which last won the title in 2016 after a gap of 13 years.
Ahli-Sidab ousted Al Nasr, winning the second-leg semis 4-0 after the teams drew 2-2 in the first-leg on Wednesday.
For record 11-time winners Seeb, the second-leg match against Muscat turned out to be a tame affair as it had trounced its rival 8-1 in the first-leg and expectedly claimed the second-leg 3-1.
Ahli-Sidab will hope its drag-flick expert and Indian star Rupinder Pal Singh fires against Seeb along with his Indian teammate Shivdeep Shankar.
Seeb's Egyptian coach Seeb’s Egyptian coach Osama Hasnain will also bank on his foreign recruits from India and Pakistan to rise to the occasion and deliver in a crunch game. Pakistan's Mohammed Dilber has been in fine form for Seeb and will be the player to watch out in the final.
“We are ready for the final and all my players are in good shape,” said Khalid al Raisi, Seeb’s team manager, after the win on Friday.