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Sunday , January 29 2023

Kuwait beat Saudi 3-1 ; Kuwait make winning Gulf Cup start

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Oman, Bahrain goalless as UAE dominate Yemen

Kuwaiti player wins the ball during Group B soccer match between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia

DOHA/KUWAIT CITY, Nov 27: Kuwait (The Blue) got their Gulf Cup campaign to flying start with 3-1 win over Saudi Arabia on Wednesday. Kuwait’s goals were scored by Ahmad Al-Thufairi, Sami Al-Sane’e and Mubarak Al- Feneni, and Saudi Arabia’s goal was scored by Feras Al- Breikan. With this result, The Blue have obtained the three points, placing them on top in Group B.

The Blue recorded the 18 wins compared to the 17 wins of The Green (the Saudi National Team). The first goal of The Blue was recorded by Al-Thufairi within the 42nd minute of the first half, and the second goal was made soon after – at the 45th minute – by Sami Al-Sane’e.

The Blue’s third goal was recorded three minutes before the end of the second halftime by Al- Feneni. Oman and Bahrain ended their Gulf Cup opener Wednesday goalless with both teams trying very hard to snatch the victory. Both teams were cautious in the first half but the Omanis had advantage in the second half but all bids were fruitless.

The match represented an experimentation of good technical level from both sides that exchanged attacks vigorously. Bahrain approached the game with a selection that included the goalkeeper Seyyid Shibr Al-Alawi and defense support of Abdullah Buhezaa, Seyyid Mahdi Baqer, Ahmad Nabil and Seyyid Redha Essa.

The midfielders were Ali Haram, Jassem Al-Sheikh, Ali Madan and Kamil Al-Aswad. Mahdi Humaidan and Mohammad Al-Rumaihi were positioned for attacks. The team made several brilliant moves towards the attack as Kamil Al- Aswad fed Al-Mumaihi with long and high passes to benefit from the latter’s height, but Omani defenders were always alert to thwart the efforts. Oman played a 4-5-1 system with Fayez Al-Rashidi manning the goal post.

Ali Al-Busaeedi, Mohammad Al-Muslimi, Imran Al-Heidi and Saad Suhail were in the defense. Ahmad Kano, Harib Al-Saadi, Mohammad Al-Ghamdi, Al-Munther Al-Alawi and Mohsen Jouhari held the midfield, and Mohsen Al- Ghasani was the sole striker.

The team relied more on crosses from the fl anks and ground passes. In the group’s other match on Tuesday, striker Ali Mabkhout scored a hat trick to give the United Arab Emirates an easy 3-0 win over Yemen, who have never won a match in the Gulf Cup. The UAE will face Iraq, while Qatar meet Yemen on Friday.

Iraq were very tough contenders, said Qatar’s coach Felix Sanchez after losing 2-1 to the Iraqi team in the opening game of the 24th Arab Gulf Football Cup. “Iraq’s counter-attacks were a punishment for the Qatari team,” Sanchez told a news conference after the match. He also expressed regret after losing to the Iraqi counterpart, noting that the Qatari team started the game well, but the players did not succeed in scoring goals that would have helped change the outcome of the game. For his part, Iraq’s coach Srecko Katanec praised his young players during the game against Qatar, stressing the importance of focusing on the next game

By Seifaldin Mansour and Agencies

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