Qatar keep Gulf Cup hopes alive

 09 Jan 2013 - 1:30


Oman’s Abdul Aziz Humaid Mubarak (top) fights for the ball with Qatar’s Khalfan Ibrahim during the Gulf Cup match in Manama yesterday. Mohammad El Sayed scored the winning goal to help Qatar keep their Gulf Cup hopes alive with a 2-1 win over Oman at the National Stadium. 

MANAMA: Mohammad Al Sayed scored the winning goal to help Qatar keep their Gulf Cup hopes alive with a 2-1 win over Oman at the National Stadium, yesterday.

After Ibrahim Khalfan gave Qatar the lead in the 55th minute, Hussain Ali Al Hadhir levelled the score twelve minutes later courtesy of a penalty.

As both teams pressed for the winner, Al Sayed scored the decisive goal with three minutes remaining.

In the other Group A match that was played yesterday, Mahjed Hassan scored the late winner to help UAE book their spot in the semi-finals after beating the hosts Bahrain 2-1. 

Abdulwahab Al Malood cancelled out Ali Mabkhout’s early strike but Hassan scored with five minutes remaining for UAE’s second straight win.

Yesterday’s results means that Qatar, coached by Paulo Autuori,  are in second place with three points with Bahrain in third spot with one point. Qatar will face Bahrain in a crucial match on Friday.

Meanwhile, Oman, who are bottom of Group A, will have to beat UAE and hope other results go their way.

Qatar, who lost their opening match against UAE were put under pressure from the first whistle as Oman dominated the early parts of the game. 

Autuori’s side survived a scare in the opening minutes of the match when Fouzi Basheer forced a save from Qatar goalkeeper Qasem Abdulhamad.

The Qatari goalkeeper was called into action again in the 13th minute, when Eid Al Farsi saw his effort tipped over the crossbar by Abdulhamad. 

His effort was watched by Oman coach, Paul Le Guen, who showed his disappointment following Burhan’s tremendous save.

The Qatari defenders had to be on top of their game as Oman continued to create chances in the first half. 

In the 39th minute, striker Abdul Aziz Al Muqbali wasted an opportunity when he could not connect properly after being put through by his team-mate Basheer. 

Autuori would have been pleased at half-time with the score at 0-0 after Oman dominated the first half.

Oman who started the second-half brightly, saw themselves 1-0 behind in the 55th minute. 

Oman defender Mohammad Al Maslami fouled Khalfan, in the penalty box. 

Khalfan, scored his second goal of the tournament when he converted his penalty.

Qatar’s goal rallied Oman in the second half. After a goal was ruled off-side, Le Guen’s team were level twelve minutes later. 

After Wumaar Darwish was adjudged to have been fouled by Marcone Amaral, Hussain Ali Al Hadhir scored the penalty to cancel out Ibrahim’s goal.

With both teams needing a win to boost their hopes of advancing to the semi-finals, Al Sayed scored the goal, which proved to be the winner with three minutes left. The striker lost his marker to tap-in a cross, that thrilled the Qatar team on sidelines. 

In the match between Bahrain and UAE, Mabkhout scored in the sixth minute to silence the home fans in the stadium.

The hosts, created many chances but had to wait until the 75th minute for the equaliser.

Al Malood saw his effort sneak through the legs of Bahrain goalkeeper Ali Kashief.

Kashief made a fine double save when he denied Ismail Matar and Mabkhout, but could not keep out Hassan’s effort when he smashed the ball into the roof of the net.