Saturday , December 15 2018

Kuwait out as UAE hold Saudi – Oman on track

Kuwait’s Bader Al-Mutawa (right), vies for the ball with Oman’s Saad Al-Mukhaini (center), during the 2017 Gulf Cup of Nations football match between Kuwait and Oman at the Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Stadium in Kuwait City on Dec 25. (AFP)

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 25: Kuwait hopes of winning the Gulf Cup on home soil evaporated following their 1-0 loss against Oman at the Jaber International Stadium on Monday. The lone goal was scored by Ahmad Mubarak in the 58th minute through penalty.

Oman have three points as Kuwait remained pointless after the opening loss against Saudi Arabia. Meanwile, UAE held Saudi Arabia to a goalless draw in the Gulf Cup Group A match at the Jaber International Stadium on Monday. Both teams have four points but Saudis lead on goal difference.

UAE, despite having more possession could not break the Saudi Arabia defence. Makhbout nearly broke the deadlock on two occations, in the 8th and 11th minute but shots went wide to the relief of the Saudi players and fans. Saudi Arabia after soaking much of the pressure almost took the lead through Mukhtar Fulata but he was denied by decent save from the UAE goalkeeper Khaled Essa.

UAE head coach Alberto Zaccheroni in bid to boost the attack brought in Ismael Al Hammadi for Muhammad Abdul Rahman. It became a ding dong affair in the closing stage of the match as both teams threatened to steal the vital victory. Zaccheroni substituted the isolated striker Makhbout and replaced by Ahmad Al Khaleel who returned from injury. Emerati Ismael Al Hammadi almost scored in the 4th minute of extra time from a follow up header which went slightly above the crossbar.

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