Omantel League football 2023-24: Dhofar off to a Flyer

Sports Sunday 20/August/2023 10:25 AM
By: Times News Service
Omantel League football 2023-24: Dhofar off to a Flyer

MUSCAT: Record 11-time winners Dhofar Club began their 2023-24 Omantel League campaign on a rousing note with a 3-0 win over promoted Al Wahda Club on Friday while defending champions Al Nahda were held to a 1-1 draw by unfancied Al Shabab Club at the Al Rustaq Sports Complex on Thursday.

The opening week of the new season witnessed a total of five games with the scheduled match between Seeb and Ibrid postponed  due to the former club's participation in the Asian Champions League preliminary round match.

The biggest margin of victory of the opening week was registered by hosts Sohar, who were in rampant form as they demolished Oman Club 4-1 at the Sohar Sports Complex on Friday. The winners led 2-1 at half-time.

Also, the first shock result the season saw Bahla edge past five-time winners and Salalah heavyweights Al Nasr 1-0 at the Al Saada Sports Complex in Salalah.

Earlier on Thursday, reigning champions Al Nahda survived a scare from Al Shabab as they are trailed 1-0 at the interval before rallying to draw level at the Rustaq Sports Complex.

Bashar Al Balushi put young man ahead in the 45th minute and Al Nahda managed to share the spoils after substitute Omar Al Malki got the equalizer in the 77th minute.

Hosts Sur launched the new season on Thursday with a 1-1 draw against the visiting Al Rustaq team with both sides deadlocked in a goalless stalemate at the end of the first half.

Sur drew the first blood in the 67th minute through Ahed al Hudaifi and Rustaq were lucky to grab a point in the 90th minute when they were awarded a penalty kick. Rustaq's African recruit Bake Wade converted the spot kick for the honors to be shared.

A total of 12 teams are vying for the domestic football's top honors. Six of the teams have had the honor of being winners.

Salalah powerhouse Dhofar hold the record of 11 titles while another heavyweight Salalah, Al Nasr, have won it five times.

Holders Al Nahda have won the title four times while Seeb and Sur are two-time champions and Oman Club have won it once.

Al Rustaq, Bahla, Sohar, Ibri, Al Wahda and Al Shabab are chasing their maiden title this season.

Ibri, Al Wahda and Al Shabab gained promotion to the top-flight from the First Division League as the top-three teams last season.