MUSCAT: Salalah giants Al Nasr began the New Year on a victorious note as they regained His Majesty’s Cup hockey glory with an emphatic 5-2 win over 12-time champions Ahli-Sidab in a thrilling final at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex on Sunday night.
The victory also gave Al Nasr their ninth HM’s Cup and halted Ahli-Sidab’s bid for 13th crown as the 52nd edition of the tournament concluded. The last time Al Nasr won the trophy was in 2019 when they beat the same rivals.
It was an amazing fightback from Mohammed Al Batrani-coached side as they were trailing by two goals at the end of the first quarter.
Ahli-Sidab began in whirlwind fashion scoring two goals in two minutes as Ahmed Al Shuaibi and Rupinder Pal Singh found the target in the fourth and fifth minute.
The Salalah powerhouse then clawed their way back to reduce the lead by the end of second quarter and drew parity in the third quarter, courtesy a brace from Abdul Hanan Shahid.
It was a terrific display by Al Nasr in the final quarter as they pumped in three more goals, and importantly, denied Ahli-Sidab any further goals to emerge as deserving winners. The scorers were Osama al Khamis, Bassim Al Rajab and Al Qadir al Nofli.
Both the clubs have been dominating the Oman hockey scene for decades and now share a total of 21 titles between them in the 52 years of the history of the oldest competition in the Sultanate of Oman.
Later, Sheikh Salim Mustahail Al Mashani, Advisor at the Diwan of Royal Court, was the chief guest and gave away the trophy and awards, in the presence of ministers and Oman Hockey Association officials.
Both the teams were on the podium at the previous edition with Ahli-Sidab finishing runners-up and Al Nasr third. Ahli-Sidab 12th record title was won in 2021.
11-time champions Seeb had edged Salalah 6-5 in penalty shoot-out to finish third last week.
Al Nasr received a glittering trophy and a cash award of OMR40,000 while Ahli-Sidab got OMR25,000 with the third-placed club Seeb took home OMR15,000.