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MENAFN - Muscat Daily - 15/05/2014
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(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Inaugural OPL champion Al Nahda bowed out of the 29th GCC Club Cup after a 1-2 loss to UAE's Al Nasr in the second-leg semifinal at the Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai on Wednesday.

Al Nasr advanced to the final of the prestigious regional tournament on a 3-2 aggregate score after the teams had played out a 1-1 draw in the first leg in Muscat. Al Nasr now meets Oman's Saham Club in the final in Dubai on May 19.

Saham had booked a spot in the final after a hardfought win over another UAE club, Al Shabab, on Tuesday.

At the Al Maktoum Stadium, Leonardo Lima and Ibrahima Tore scored for Al Nasr, while Nahda's Jamal Rashid reduced the margin in an entertaining first-half session.

The hosts went into the match with an away goal advantage and quickly put Nahda on the backfoot after the Omani club conceded a penalty in the seventh minute.

Lima converted the penalty on his second attempt after Nahda's Riyadh Subeit al Alawi had blocked his initial shot with his legs. But off the rebound, the Al Nasr forward made no mistake.

Al Nasr could have doubled the lead in the 25th minute, but Habeeb Fardan's strong header was saved by Alawi. However, three minutes later, Tore made it 2-0 for the hosts, after receiving a defence-splitting pass from Tariq Ahmed.

Coached by former Oman coach Hamad al Azzani, Nahda came back into the game in the 33rd minute, after Rashid struck in a shot from inside the box after a pass from Imtiaz Muati.

A few more chances followed for Nahda, but none were converted into goals. The closest chance came in the 73rd minute, when forward Juma Saeed's header went just wide off the post.

Despite the exit, Nahda is still in line for a domestic double. With the OPL title already sealed in the last week of April, it takes on eight-time champion Fanja in the His Majesty's Cup final.

The final is likely to be held in the last week of May while the inaugural OPL season will conclude this Friday.


Muscat Daily

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