Oman football: Fanja down Suwaiq to clinch record-equalling league title
April 24, 2016 | 10:33 PM
by Sports Reporter
Members of the triumphant Fanja team receive the OPL trophy from Oman Football Association chief Sayyid Khalid Al Busaidi. Photo - JUN ESTRADA/Times of Oman

Muscat: The curtains came down on a thrilling Omantel Professional League (OPL) season with Fanja outplaying Suwaiq for a 2-0 victory and a record-equalling ninth domestic league crown here on Sunday.

Going into the 26th and final week action of the 2015-16 season, both Fanja and Suwaiq, on 48 points each, as well as defending champions Al Arouba, on 47 points, were within the reach of the trophy.

But it was the match between Fanja and Suwaiq, fittingly played at the iconic Sultan Qaboos Sports Stadium, that turned out to be the title decider with Fanja scoring a goal in each half to shattering Suwaiq’s hopes for a fourth title.

For Fanja, who are currently coached by former Oman goalkeeper Suleiman Khamis, international defender Mohammed Al Musallami opened the score with a sensational free-kick in the 24th minute and Abdulrahman Al Ghassani put the match beyond Suwaiq’s reach with a fine solo effort in the 71st minute.

The victory helped Fanja equal Dhofar’s record of nine titles and in the process they overtook the latter as Oman’s most decorated football team after having won nine His Majesty’s Cup titles to Dhofar’s eight.

Meanwhile, Al Arouba had to settle for the third place after being handed a 1-0 defeat by Muscat at the Seeb Sports Stadium.

In the other matches played on Sunday, Dhofar and Al Nahda played out a 1-1 draw, Al Musannah held Al Khabourah 0-0, Al Nasr defeated Saham 3-1 and Al Shabab got the better of Sur by a similar 3-1 margin.

Al Musannah, Sur and Salalah are relegated to the first division.

Final standings (after Week 26): 1. Fanja 51 pts, 2. Suwaiq 48 pts, 3. Al Arouba 47 pts, 4. Dhofar 39 pts, 5. Al Nahda 38 pts, 6. Al Nasr 37 pts, 7. Saham 33 pts, 8. Sohar 32 pts (from 25 games), 9. Al Shabab 31 pts, 10. Al Khaboura 30 pts, 11. Muscat 30 pts, 12. Al Musannah 29 pts, 13. Sur 21 pts, 14. Salalah 14 pts (from 25 games).

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