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MENAFN - Muscat Daily - 19/05/2014
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(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Saham will hope to end a 25-year title drought for an Omani club in the prestigious regional club football tournament when it takes on UAE's Al Nasr in the final of the 29th GCC Club Cup in Dubai on Monday.

The match kicks off at 7.45pm.

The Batinah region club, which finished eighth in the inaugural OPL that concluded on Friday, is the first club from the sultanate to make it to the final in 14 years.

The last time an Omani club played in the final of the GCC Club Cup was in 1996, when Dhofar lost to Saudi Arabia's heavyweight Al Nasr.

Fanja, the only other Omani club to make it to the final, won the title in 1989, when it beat Bahrain's Al Muharraq.

Saham booked its spot in the summit clash title after winning the two-legged semifinal against UAE's Al Shabab.

Saham won the 3-1 in the first leg at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex (SQSC) in Muscat on May 5 and the second leg 5-4 on penalties at the Maktoum bin Rashid al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai on May 13.

Speaking to the media after reaching the final, Saham coach Abdulrazzak Khairy said, ''Nobody expected our team to progress beyond the group stages. So we have really done a great job and I congratulate everyone involved. Let's hope we can go on to win the final as well. This is really a good result for Omani football. In 25 years, no Omani team has won the title and we hope to do it.''

Giving a boost to the club ahead of the final was the announcement made Sheikh Khalid bin Mustahail al Mashani, Bank Muscat chairman on
Sunday. In a press statement, Bank Muscat chief announced a 'handsome reward for the Saham Club football team if it wins the GCC Club Cup final'.

''The reward is aimed at motivating the team as part of our commitment to promoting the game of football in Oman. Bank Muscat wishes the team good luck for the final,'' said Mashani.

UAE's pro league outfit Al Nasr reached the final after it defeated OPL champion Al Nahda 3-2 on aggregate score. Both teams had played out a 1-1 draw in the first leg at the SQSC in Muscat on May 6, after which Al Nasr defeated the Omani club 2-1 the Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai on May 14.

If Al Nasr wins the final on Monday, it would end a 25-year wait for major silverware for the club, whose last title was the UAE's President's Cup in 1989.<


Muscat Daily

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