Thursday , October 18 2018

Bahrain revive Cup hopes – Iraq hold off Qatar

Bahrain’s Sayed Dhiya Saeed (left), vies for the ball against Yemen’s midfielder Mohamed Baroies during their 2017 Gulf Cup of Nations group match at Al Kuwait Sports Club Stadium in Kuwait City on Dec 26. (AFP)

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 26: Bahrain revived their hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals of the 23rd Arabian Gulf Cup after they defeated Yemen by 1-0 on Tuesday, December 26 in the second round of the Group 2 matches in Kuwait. Bahrain owe their win to Jamal Rashid who scored the only goal of the match in the 38th minute through a penalty.

The match was characterized by moderate performance from both teams, as the Bahrainis controlled the match in the first half while the Yemenis dominated the second half. In the first round, Bahrain drew 1-1 with Iraq, while Yemen lost 4-0 to Qatar.

The match started at a fast pace with Bahrain almost scoring after just three minutes of the match through a header by Ali Jafar following a well-placed pass made by Kameel Hassan Al-Aswad. However, the ball went past the Yemeni side bar. The Yemenis tried to reorganize their lines after their bland start of the match but their efforts did not succeed in creating a threat for the Bahraini goalkeeper Sayyed Shibr Alawi.

The Bahraini side made several attempts thereafter such as a strong shot by Mahdi Abdul-Jabbar from inside the penalty area but it went off target, as well as attempts to score by Kameel Al-Aswad and Abdul-Wahab Al-Safi, all of which had created some threat for the Yemeni goalkeeper. In the 30th minute, Bahrain’s Jamal Rashid almost broke the deadlock but his shot was deflected away from the goal post by one of the Yemeni defenders, resulting in a corner kick.

However, in the 39th minute due to a foul play by Yemen’s Muhammad Baruwes against Mahdi Abdul-Jabbar within the penalty area, the Bahrainis were awarded with a penalty, and they scored. After that goal, Yemenis appeared to have gathered their balance and momentum. In the remaining minutes to half time, they launched several considerably serious but unsuccessful attacks.

In the second match of the day, Iraq had a deserving win after defeating Qatar by a score of 2-1. This match marks the end of the second round of Group 2 matches in Kuwait. A deadlock was witnessed in the match until the 17th minute when Qatar’s Muez Ali Abdullah scored a goal. However, Iraq’s Ali Fayez Attiya equalized the score with a free kick at the 46th minute, ending the first half with a draw. The second half of the match commenced at a fast pace, during which an early yellow card on Iraq’s Saad Al-Amiri happened. However, with the fast pace, Iraq found an opportunity within the penalty area and their substitute player Ali Hosni shot a goal, making the score 2-1.

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