Sohar drew 1-1 with first-division side Rustaq in their second-leg game for a 2-1 aggregate win in the 2015 Omantel Professional League (OPL) playoff final in Sohar on Sunday.

The draw was enough for Sohar to secure a place in the OPL for one more season. The Batinah team, which finished 12th this season, celebrated its survival effort in front of a large number of supporters at the Sohar Sports Complex.

Suhail al Shaqsy put Rustaq ahead in the 12th minute to raise the team’s hopes but eight minutes later Abdullah al Shibli got the much needed equaliser. The hosts then held on to clinch the playoff.

Sohar, which made its OPL debut in 2014 after edging past Al Talee’a in an OPL playoff, had won the first leg 1-0 at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex on Thursday.

The match also brought the curtains down on the domestic season, which saw Sharqiyah side Al Arouba clinch a grand double – winning the OPL and the coveted His Majesty’s Cup titles.

With national team coach Paul Le Guen suggesting an early start to the next season in view of two back-to-back World Cup qualifiers in September, there is a likelihood that the OPL committee may kick off the league in the first week of August.

A decision will be taken by the OPL’s governing body next week, following which it would be taken up by the Oman Football Association for a final call.

SOURCE: Muscat Daily