We are down to ‘only’ eleven teams that can be relegated from Oman’s top-flight after Al Nasr secured their place with a 0-0 draw against Al Orouba. We’ve got that and six other games to go through from Oman in what is the first ever Oman review on the site. It’s been plucked from the West Asia review because of the fascinating nature of the relegation battle. There’s still no daylight at the foot of the table as three points separate the bottom SEVEN teams. Muscat are now back in the mix after they got trounced by Dhofar. Al Salam lost at home which means they are now bang in trouble. There are a lot of questions that need answering. Let’s not fuck about, let’s get involved.
Dhofar Demolished Muscat
We’ll begin with Dhofar’s demolition of Muscat. In the run-up to the game, I commented on the fact that Muscat have an absolutely dismal away record. They did nothing to banish that run as Dhofar took them apart with ease. Hugo Lopez opened the scoring after twenty-six minutes.
From that point onwards, Dhofar never really looked back. Perhaps the most surprising thing about the game was that Muscat held on for such a long time before Dhofar doubled their lead.
It took until the seventy-third minute for Dhofar to make it two and it was that man again, Hugo Lopez who did just that. Bosh. Eight minutes from time, Al Roshadi Hatem made it three and the rest, as they say, was history. The result leaves Dhofar with a five-point cushion over the relegation zone and a three-point cushion over the playoff spot.
Muscat, on the other hand, are only a single point from the playoff spot. They are also one of four sides locked on twenty-seven points and three away from the relegation zone. Tight as hell. Why is hell tight? No idea. Moving on.
Final score: Dhofar 3-0 Muscat.
In what was billed as the big one by some (me), Saham hosted Oman Club. it was a game that Saham could seldom afford to lose.
Saham Couldn’t Lose. Period
If Oman beat Saham, it would have created a five-point gap between the two sides, which wouldn’t have been easy to make up over three games.
As the story goes, Oman Club did take the lead with less than ten minutes on the clock. Mohammed Al Mashri made no mistake from the penalty spot to put the away side in the driving seat. Saham had to dig in.
With the game looking set to pass the seventy-five-minute mark, it seemed it was getting away from Saham. Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Baba Mansoor, come on down. How vital might his equaliser prove to be in the grand scheme of things? Only time will give us that answer. Honours even.
Final score: Saham 1-1 Oman Club.
Our last game from Friday evening to look at is one that I got horrendously wrong. Going into the game, Al Nahda hadn’t won in five and while Al Salam looked like shit as well, I was banking on the fact that Al Salam needed the win more. Nevertheless, Al Salam thought it was best to keep up their appalling home record as Al Nahda got a deserved win.
Once Al Salam Went Behind, They Didn’t Threaten
It didn’t take long at all for Al Nahda to score and once they did, the result was only ever going one way. Masoor Al Nuaimi put them one to the good and it could’ve been two within fifteen minutes if Al Nahda didn’t fluff a penalty. Such is life. Despite it taking until the 71st-minute for Ali Moussa to make it two-nil, Al Salam never really looked like equalising. Things don’t look too good for Al Salam, not too good at all.
Final score: Al Salam 0-2 Al Nahda.
Four games left to look at. All of which took place on Saturday evening. We shall begin with the one which yielded the biggest surprise.
Away Win All Day Wrong, Right? Wrong
Mirbat vs Al Suwaiq. Poor vs Talent. Out of sorts vs Champions. Which way did it go? You’ve probably already guessed after the build-up I’ve given it, but I’ll run you through it anyway. I’m boss like that, you see.
Hierman got Mirbat off to a flyer when he opened the scoring after only twelve minutes. Maybe it wasn’t going to be an upset after all though. Omer Fazari levelled for the champions of Oman seven minutes later and it remained that way until sixteen minutes into the second-half.
While I would love to be able to give you the names of those that scored in the interval, unfortunately, I am not able to do so at this present moment. Reason being, nobody has that information for whatever the reason. What I can tell you is that Mirbat went back into the lead in minute sixty-one and went three-one up eight minutes later.
That’s right, Mirbat beat Al Suwaiq 3-1. I have no idea either. Al Suwaiq’s title celebrations must’ve been a little bit too wild for their own good.
Final score: Mirbat 3-1 Al Suwaiq.
Got a wee bit of bad news that I need to share with you. This will be the last one that I look at with a bit of detail. Yes, there are three games left, but the last two were nil-nil and quite frankly dear, I don’t give a damn. Going into this game, both Sohar and Al Mudhaibi only sat a point above the relegation zone and my pick for the game was a draw.
Honours Even Doesn’t Help Or Hinder Either Side
I’m not one to brag, but, bazingaaaa. A draw it was.
Yaqoob Abdulkarim got the first goal of an action-packed first-half. Abdulkarim does, of course, play for Sohar, but how could you not know that? Back on point, Al Mudhaibi equalised after fifteen minutes.
Annoyingly, nobody has the name of who scored either of Al Mudhaibi’s goals. The plot thickens. Khalifa Al Jahwari put Sohar back into the lead before they pissed the lead away again. It was 2-2 at the break.
It was also 2-2 at the end. Nothing gained and nothing particularly lost for either of the sides.
Final score: Sohar 2-2 Al Mudhaibi.
We’ve already mentioned of the games that aren’t going to be covered. Here are the scores from those games:
Al Orouba 0-0 Al Nasr | Fanja SC 0-0 Al Shabab.
I actually yawned after typing Shabab which tells you all you need to know about their game. As it’s a Tuesday afternoon, I’m a rather generous mood, so here is the league table for your perusal.
With three games to go, I have zero idea who is going to drop. What do you think? Let me know via fax. You know the number. We’ll finish with a bit of good news, there are more games over today and tomorrow from Oman as we get to the business end of the season. Here are the fixtures:
Al Salam vs Muscat | Oman Club vs Dhofar | Al Mudhaibi vs Saham | Al Nahda vs Mirbat | Al Shabab vs Sohar | Al Suwaiq vs Al Orouba | Al Nasr vs Fanja SC.
I’ll tell you something for nothing, there are some right bobby-dazzlers in there and I’m buzzing my nut off to bring you the reviews on those in the coming days. Speak to you soon.
Until the next time.