Muscat: Saham overcame Al Khabourah for a solitary goal victory and to lay their hands on the prestigious His Majesty’s Cup football trophy for only second time on Saturday.
In an exciting final played at the Sohar Sports Complex, Saham managed to score the match-winning goal in the second-half injury time to seal the victory.
Lt. Gen. Hassan bin Mohsin Al Shuraiqi, Inspector General of Police and Customs, presided over the final match and handed over the trophy in the presence of Minister of Sports Affairs Sheikh Saad bin Mohammed Al Saadi, Oman Football Association (OFA) chief Sayyid Khalid Al Busaidi and other dignitaries.
Though the match, after a goalless first session, came alive in the second half with both Saham and Al Khabourah pressing on the accelerator neither team succeeded in opening their account for the 90 minutes of play.
When it looked like the match will go beyond the regulation time, Mohammed Mattar clinched the issue in Saham’s favour with a match-winning goal three minutes into the injury time.
While the result shattered Al Kharabouh’s dream of a maiden title, Saham succeeded in lifting the trophy for the second time, adding to the one they won back in 2009-10.
Saham also joined Suwaiq and Oman as two-time winners.
Fanja had won the coveted trophy for a record nine times followed by Dhofar (8 times), Ahli-Sidab (5), Al Arouba, Al Nasr (both 4), Sur and Seeb (both 3 times). Muscat and Al Talee’a had lifted the trophy one time each.
Earlier, OFA chief Sayyid Khalid Al Busaidi, said the prestigious His Majesty’s Cup football championship, since its inception has led to the development of quality of football in the country and produced a number of stars, which in turn contributed to the evolution of the game both at the club and the national level.
Referring to the conclusion of a successful 2015-16 season, the OFA chief said the season saw improvement in quality of football while the Oman football continued with the march of professionalism.
“We at the Oman Football Association as well as the football family in Oman are delighted at the development taking place and we are proud of what has been achieved so far under the professionally run system,” he said.
“I want to thank all the board members of the clubs for their co-operation with the OFA and for their contribution to the success of all competitions in 2015-2016 season,” he said.
The OFA chief also thanked members of various committees at the OFA, including the technical and legal committees for their dedication and hard work which led to the success of the season.
“I take this opportunity to thank the Ministry of Sports Affairs, the various government departments and the Royal Oman Police for the great cooperation and active contributions to the success of the season. I would also like to thank all OFA partners for supporting the association as well as its programmes and activities throughout the season,” he said.
Meanwhile, the OFA announced a three-season deal with the Public Authority for Radio and Television (PART).
In a press statement, the OFA said: “Public Authority for Radio and Television and the OFA are pleased to announce reaching an agreement between them on TV broadcasting rights of all competitions and matches organised by OFA, including those related to Oman Professional League.
“Under this agreement, there will be a marketing partnership between the two parties. PART and OFA will be sharing revenues from related television advertising which shall ensure financial returns to OFA and its member clubs, depending on the advertising market. The period of this agreement will be for three seasons starting from the 2016-2017 season,” the statement added.