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Last year's run­ner-up Seeb be­gan its His Majesty's Cup Hockey Cham­pi­onship cam­paign on a rous­ing note as it trounced its arch-ri­val, Ahli-Sidab, 7-4 in a thrilling match at the Sul­tan Qa­boos Sports Com­plex on Wed­nes­day.

The open­ing day of the 2018 edi­tion fea­tured two teams that share 21 ti­tles and it was ten-time win­ner Ahli-Sidab, coached by for­mer Oman coach K K Poonacha, which took the lead in the third minute of the match through Mo­hammed Ra­heel.

In­dia in­ter­na­tional Rupin­der Pal Singh then slammed the sec­ond in the 11th minute to give Ahli-Sidab a 2-0 lead at the end of first quar­ter.

How­ever, Seeb, coached by Egyp­tian Osama Has­nain, staged a stel­lar fight­back as it re­duced the mar­gin just be­fore half-time through Is­mail Omar.

The third quar­ter had record 11-time cham­pion Seeb go on of­fen­sive as it equalised through for­mer Pak­istan in­ter­na­tional Mo­hammed Dil­ber. Qasim Moosa's dou­ble strike put the 2016 cham­pion ahead 4-2 with a quar­ter left.

Rupin­der cut the deficit soon af­ter the start of the fi­nal quar­ter and Rashad Salim made it 4-all in the 50th minute.

How­ever, Seeb's Dil­ber opened the flood­gates with three min­utes left and Moosa and Owais Ahmed slammed in two goals in a space of a minute to shock Ahli-Sidab for a 7-4 win.

In a late game on Wed­nes­day, Dho­far was up against Al Salam. De­fend­ing cham­pion Al Nasr will be­gin its ti­tle de­fence with a game against So­har on Thurs­day.

Eight teams are tak­ing part in the tour­na­ment, which will con­clude on De­cem­ber 17. The other teams in fray are Mus­cat and Salalah.

H E Sheikh Saif bin Mo­hammed al Shabibi, Min­is­ter of Hous­ing, will grace the fi­nal and award the tro­phy.

(Ahmed al Saidi/Mus­cat Daily)

Ac­tion from the match be­tween Seeb and Ahl-Sidab

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