2015-2016 HM's Cup: Arouba begins title defence against Sur

H H Sayyid Nabigh al Said (left) picks Fanja’s chit as Saleh al Farsi looks on during the HM’s Cup draw ceremony on Wednesday (Muscat Daily)

Reigning champion Al Arouba faces a difficult opener against arch-rival Sur in its bid to defend the His Majesty's Cup football title after the two Sharqiyah powerhouses were drawn to meet in the round of 32 on Wednesday. 

The two teams contested the 2014-2015 final in Sur in May. Arouba had emerged winners 2-0 to complete a domestic double, having won the Omantel Professional League (OPL) title earlier. The round of 32 will be held across the sultanate from December 29-31.

The draw of the HM's Cup main round was held at the Al Fahm Amphitheatre- Cultural Centre of the Sultan Qaboos University under the auspices of H H Nabigh bin Talal al Said.

Also present were Sayyid Khalid al Busaidy, the Oman Football Association (OFA) chairman, Saleh al Farsi, the OFA vice-chairman and chairman of the OFA competitions committee, and other officials.

While the Arouba-Sur match was the highlight of the draw, there were relatively easier match-ups for record nine-time winner Fanja and eight-time champion Dhofar.

Fanja was drawn against Bahla while Dhofar was picked to play against Al Kamil W'al Wafi. Another interesting pairing saw Sohar and Al Nahda clubs play against each other for the third successive year in the main round.

The round of 32 draw featured 14 OPL and equal number of first division teams along with four second division teams that advanced after a preliminary round among the second division teams.

Other round of 32 fixtures: Al Suwaiq vs Dibba, Muscat vs Al Talee'a, Salalah vs Al Salam, Al Mudhaibi vs Oman, Bausher vs Rustaq, Musannah vs Mirbat, Jalan vs Al Khabourah, Al Shabab vs Ahli-Sidab, Nizwa vs Al Bashayer, Saham vs Bidiya, Al Wahda vs Seeb, Al Ittihad vs Al Nasr.

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