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Ahli-Sidab Club keep HM’s Cup for hockey


CHAMPIONS: Joyful Ahli-Sidab Club players celebrate after retaining the HM’s Cup beating Muscat in the final. Pic: Jun Estrada/ TIMES OF OMAN

Muscat: Defending champions Ahli-Sidab Club beat Muscat Club 5-1 to retain the prestigious His Majesty's Cup Hockey Championship at Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Bausher yesterday.

Coached by former national coach K.K. Poonacha, Ahli-Sidab completely dominated the game to win the 42nd edition of the tournament in style and take home RO45,000 prizemoney.

Indian recruit Darshan Dalavi was the star of the match as he scored two goals while Ashraf Talib, Saleh Nasr, Sameer Halais scored one goal each. For Muscat, Egyptian player Mohammed Hosni scored the consolation goal.

Ahli-Sidab won the trophy in 2005 and 2011. Prior to the merger, Sidab had won the title five times, the last of which came in 2002.  Speaking to Times Sport, soon after the match yesterday, a delighted Poonacha said the victory was a complete team effort.

"Before the final we had set a plan and thankfully my boys played according to that.
"I do not want to take the credit single-handedly because this was a complete team effort and everyone played hard for this win," said the soft-spoken Poonacha.

Interestingly, this is the third straight appearance in the final for Ahli-Sidab. "To win this trophy was not easy. We came through some tough contest but we played with our heart," he said.

"There was a lot of coordination between the players and that was good to see on the field," he said.

Muscat coach Ali Hassan said Ahli-Sidab completely outplayed his team. "I think they deserve to win this title because they (Ahli-Sidab) were unstoppable," he said.

"I don't want to blame anybody for the loss. We were just not good enough against a brilliant side. Ahli-Sidab had complete supremacy over us. I congratulate their team for winning the title," Hassan added.

Muscat received RO 28,500 while Al Nasr who won the third place got RO 17,500.
Marwan Abdulrahman of Seeb Club was declared the best player of the tournament while Qashif Ali of Al Nasr received the highest goal scorer award with a tally of 13 goals to his credit.

Mohammed Al Rumhy, minister for oil and gas, gave away the trophy to the winners in the presence of Sa'ad bin Mohamed Al Mardoof Al Sa'adi, minister of sports affairs, and Dawood Al Raisi, chairman of Oman Hockey Association.

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