QATAR TOO STRONG FOR YEMEN IN GULF CUP OPENER, UAE WIN – Iraq, Bahrain draw
KUWAIT CITY, Dec 23, (KUNA): Saudi Arabia defeated Kuwait 2-1 in the opener of Gulf Cup at Jaber International Stadium. Saudi Arabia’s Salman Al- Musher received a pass from Ahmad Al-Furaidi to score his team’s first goal in the 13th minute of the game. Kuwait tried hard to equalize by, launching relentless attacks on the Saudis but all efforts were fruitless.
The Saudis extended their lead in the second half through Mukhtar Fallatah, who scored the team’s second goal in the 52nd minute. Manager Boris Bunjak sent Abdullah Al-Buraiki in after the second Saudi goal. Al-Buraiki made an instant impact by reducing the deficit in 55th minute.. Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have met for 20 times throughout the history of the Gulf Cup. Kuwait won eight times against five for the Saudis.
The two teams drew seven times. Kuwait won the Gulf Cup for a record 10 times. Saudi Arabia won it three times.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) earned three points after beating rivals Oman 1-0 in the opening match of the 23rd Arabian Gulf Cup, which was held at Jaber International Stadium on Friday. Ali Mabkhoot scored UAE’s lone goal from the penalty spot in 27th minute.
Oman began the game pressing for an early goal but their attacks did not yield result. Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Minister of Commerce and Industry Khaled Al-Roudhan welcomed as “the most important sign of success” the arrival of missions of all GCC member states to the 23rd edition of Gulf Football Cup (Gulf 23). He thanked the participating teams of the sisterly countries for sharing joy with the Kuwaiti football fans after the unbanning by FIFA of Kuwait’s international soccer activities. Al-Roudhan made the press remarks during an inspection tour of Sheikh Jaber International Stadium to oversee the preparations for the event on the eve of the opening ceremony. He appreciated the higher organizing committee for its relentless efforts successful for Gulf 23 Cup, to be held under the auspices of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.
Qatar beat Yemen 4-0 in their group first match at Kuwait Sport Club’s stadium. Akram Afif scored Qatar’s first goal in the early minutes, only for Mahdi Ali to expand their lead with another goal in the fifth minute. Al-Muez Ali’s header scored the third goal for Qatar in minute 18.
Bahrain held Iraq to 1-1 draw in Group B second match. Yemen tried hard to narrow the gap but instead Qatar scored their fourth goal of the night in the 40th minute of the second half.