HM's Cup Football: Saham is champion

Saham captain Mohsin Jawhar (right) receives the HM’s Cup trophy from Lt Gen Hassan bin Mohsin al Shuraiqi at the Sohar Sports Complex in Sohar on Saturday

It was December 7, 2009 when Saham had tasted its first title success in the prestigious His Majesty's Cup Football Championship, edging Salalah powerhouse, Dhofar, in a thrilling penalty shootout.

Almost six and a half years later, the script seemed to be going the same way with seconds left in the injury-time of the final match against Al Khabourah at the Sohar Sports Complex on Saturday.

But then came the sucker punch from the former champion as Mohammed Matar headed in a cross past a fumbling Khabourah goalkeeper Abdulsalam al Balushi to give Saham a 1-0 win and its second title after a thrilling Batinah derby.

Until the goal, the match looked set to go into extra-time, and possibly into a shootout, after both teams dished out an entertaining game of football.

Khabourah, coached by Algerian Mustafa Kiwa, was the more enterprising side in the first half and created a handy number of goal-scoring opportunities against its fancied opponent.
Said Obaid was a livewire in the Khabourah attack and missed two gilt-edged chances, in the 18th and 36th minutes.

Saham, on the contrary, relied on counter-attacks and absorbed much of the pressure during the first half to go into the break goalless.

Saham, coached by Syrian Abdul Nasser Mukayes, came back with an improved show in the second session, but a determined Khabourah defence stood firm to thwart a series of attacks.

And just as the match looked set to go beyond regulation-time came Matar's goal, who latched onto a misdirected aerial clearance from a Khabourah defender to find the target and spark wild celebrations among the Saham contingent.


Action from the final match at the Sohar Sports Complex on Saturday

Incidentally, Saham's 2009 title had also come under a Syrian coach, Mohammed Hawali. Later, Lt Gen Hassan bin Mohsin al Shuraiqi, Inspector General of Police and Customs, gave away the trophy and individual medals in the presence of H E Sheikh Saad al Saadi, the Minister of Sports Affairs, Sayyid Khalid al Busaidy, the Oman Football Association (OFA) chief, ministers and other dignitaries.

OFA and PART agree on television deal

In a major boost for domestic football leagues, the OFA has reached an agreement with the Public Authority for Radio & Television (PART) for the telecasting rights of all competitions organised by the OFA starting with the next season.

In a press release, the OFA said that as part of the agreement, there will be a marketing partnership between the two parties.

The PART and the OFA will share revenue from TV advertising, which shall insure financial returns for the OFA and its member clubs, depending on the advertising market.

The period of this agreement will be for three seasons, starting 2016-2017.

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