(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Muscat Storm was brought down to earth with a thud on Wednesday night as visitors Al Ahlia ended its unbeaten run this season with a thumping 4-0 victory in Seeb.
On a cool night at Storms' home pitch, Al Ahlia meant business right from the kick-off. For the first 15 minutes, it was a cagey affair. It was like a cat-and-mouse chase as Storm struggled to keep possession with Al Ahlia closing it down at every opportunity.
Storm's normal passing game was nowhere to be seen as it took the wrong decisions on most occasions, giving away plenty of the possession to Al Ahlia.
Although Muscat Storm found it increasingly hard to keep the ball, it kept on defending well, frustrating the away team on a number of occasions.
The pressure from the visitors continued to build. Finally, in the 25th minute, Al Ahlia broke the deadlock when it broke from a Storm corner. The pace was too much for the Storm defence and Al Ahlia scored its first goal.
The next three goals came within a ten-minute period and Al Ahlia was leading 4-0 by half-time.
In the second half, Storm showed great character and was getting closer to its opponent, winning several tackles. Al Ahlia continued with its flowing football, but the home side was seeing more possession, and in the 55th minute, it had its closest effort as Kirk Macpherson broke, and was only thwarted by some excellent defending.
The second half produced a much better performance and Ewen Bailey put in three great tackles to stop attacks down the right side that lifted the home team.
As the game came to a close, Muscat Storm looked tired after playing against a tough opponent.
Lee Ebbutt, the Storm manager, said, "We were well beaten by a fitter, better and stronger team. We were chasing shadows in the first half, and we were happy to launch the ball anywhere. In the second half, we showed great character and worked harder and got closer. Maybe Al Ahlia had taken their foot of the gas, but we still matched their work rate and created a couple of chances, albeit not clear ones."