(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Defending champion Muscat Club will take on Ahli-Sidab in the final of the third Ministry's Shield tournament, organised by the Oman Handball Association (OHA) at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex on Monday.
The title clash will begin at 7pm. It will be preceded by the third-place playoff between Dhofar and Seeb, starting at 5pm. The winner of the tournament will receive a prize money of RO25,000, while the runner-up will get RO15,000. The thirdplaced side will bag RO10,000. Amir al Dughaishi, Muscat's captain, said his team is poised to retain the trophy. ''We have been preparing well for the event for the past few months. The club's participation in the GCC Clubs Handball Championship in Saudi Arabia recently was good preparation,'' Amir said.
''Although some of our top players were injured during that tournament, our entire team has been fit during this competition. Weill do our best to defend the Cup.'' Interestingly, both the finalists feature members of the same Dughaishi family. Imad al Dughaishi, captain of Ahli-Sidab, said sports comes before family for the Dughaishis. ''It will be a quite challenge for the Dughaishi brothers to take on each other in this final,'' Imad said.
''We believe we are players of our respective clubs first; and then we are family members. We consider sportsmanship to be of utmost importance.''
On Ahli-Sidab's chances of denying Muscat its third straight trophy, Imad said, ''Both teams are equally poised to take the title. Both have good national team players. While Muscat played in the GCC Championship, we took part in the Arab Championship in Tunisia recently. Muscat could be under pressure of having to defend the title, but we are going in with no tension. We will have to wait until Monday to see who emerges as the champ