In the second round of Group Two CompetitionsYemen loses 0-2 to Saudi Arabia, dreams of 17th Gulf Cup die away [Archives:2004/799/Sports]

December 16 2004
Saudi Arabias Mohammed Al-Shalhoub (left) fights for the ball withYemens Nashwan Al-Hajjam (right) during the 17th Arabian Gulf Cup
Saudi Arabias Mohammed Al-Shalhoub (left) fights for the ball withYemens Nashwan Al-Hajjam (right) during the 17th Arabian Gulf Cup’s encounter between Saudi Arabia and Yemen national teams at al-Rayan Stadium in Doha on Monday Dec. 14
By Adel Al-Khawlani
Yemen Times Staff

DOHA- Tuesday evening, Dec.14 – Saudi Arabia won 2-0 over Yemen in the second round of the 17th Gulf Championship to grasp the three points of the encounter.
Through a ball sent by Al-Dokhi, Marzoq Al-Otaibi scored the first goal for Saudi Arabia in minute 34 of the first half to push his side one goal ahead. The first half ended with Saudi Arabia leading Yemen 1-0.
The second half opened with a penalty kick for Saudi Arabia through which Ibrahim Soweyed added the second to increase his side's advantage to two goals.
Coach of Yemen Rabeh Sa'adan replaced Asa'ad Al-Qumashi by Ahmad Al-Zuraiqi in the fifth minute of the second half and in minute 21 of the same half he placed Ibrahim Al-Kuhali as a substitute for Nashwan Aziz, but nothing new changed the result in favor of Yemen.
The third substitute was Saleh Al-Shehri replacing Nashwan Al-Hajjam who has never been seen in the field till the moment of his substitution.
In the first quarter of the first half, Yemeni striker Ali Al-Nono lead some offensives and proved to be the source of annoyance for the Saudi goalkeeper. Skilled midfielder Nasser Ghazi also had a great role and could penetrate the Saudi hurdles several times.
Dutiful Mua'adh Abdulkhaliq, goalkeeper of Yemen saved his net from several Saudi balls particularly in the last minute of the compensation time.
The game opened with a wonderful dove hovering over the stadium and at the same time carrying the Yemeni flag.

Yemen & Bahrain
The Group Two opener of the 17th Gulf Championship, held on Dec.11, ended in a 1-1 draw between Yemen and Bahrain. The first half of the game was fast paced and ended with Bahrain having a one goal lead over Yemen. The goal was scored by the striker Talal Yousif after he penetrated the careless Yemeni defense.
In the first quarter of the second half, midfielder Nasser Ghazi answered for Yemen with a free shot from behind the penalty area.
Yemen's goal keeper Mua'ath Abdulkhaliq played an unforgettable role in saving his net from many attacks. He was admired by supporters for his continual exertion despite being injured several times by the Bahraini strikers.
Yemen's footballers turned expectations upside-down and broke the ambition of Bahrain, who had assumed that they would win the match.
Sport analysts in and outside Yemen agreed that the draw was a victory for Yemen, which joins the championship for only the second time. It was a miserable loss for Bahrain, which has ever been present in the championship since it began in 1970.
The Yemeni team performed better and played more tactically than it has recently, however several golden opportunities were lost.
In a press conference held after the match, the Yemeni coach Rabeh Sa'adan, said that despite the draw, the team still suffers from some gaps, particularly among the fullbacks.
He added that noticeable mistakes were committed by the Yemeni side, not because of the Bahraini pressure but due to the exertion made by the players who seemed to be fatigued in the final minutes of the first half.
The Bahraini coach explained that his side played with less concentration in the second half than it did in the first; the main reason behind that was the early equalizer for Yemen.
Each Yemeni player was awarded $ 1,000 by Sheikh Hussein Al-Ahmar, President of the Yemeni Football Federation. He met the players and congratulated them, specifically the goalkeeper, for their excellent performance.

Other competitions of the same group
Saudi Arabia & Kuwait
The play following the opener was staged between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The latter came back from being defeated with one goal by Yasser Al-Qahtani in the first half to win over the former 2-1. The meeting saw several yellow cards and a player from each side was sent off.

Kuwait & Bahrian
In the second round of Group One, Kuwait drew with Bahrain in spite of playing shorthanded for more than fifty minutes.
Receiving a ball from Badr Al-Mutaw'e , Mohammad Jeragh scored for Kuwait in the second quarter of the first half to prove his side's precedence over the opponent.
Kuwaiti midfielder Nawaf Al-Mutairi was sent off by the Emirates referee, Abdullah Al-Banna in the 41st of the same half. Kuwait played shorthanded for the rest of the game time and this enabled Hussein Ali from Bahrain to equalize the result in the last minute of the first half.
Being shorthanded, Kuwait played most of the second half's time in a cautious manner except for rare re-offensives. Kuwait used a cleverly planned consumption of time to close the encounter with a 1-1 draw.
Coach of Bahrain entered the game with the intention of making up for the draw he got while meeting Yemen.

First round of Group One
Qatar& UAE
In Group One opener, Qatar, which hosts the competition, played against the UAE. The hosts recovered from a two-goal deficit to equalize in the compensation time. The game ended with a 2-2 draw. Despite the comeback, the Qatari coach and supporters were furious with the players.

Oman & Iraq
In the same group, Oman thrashed Iraq 3-1 grasping all the three points of the game.

Second round of Group One
Oman & UAE
Oman reinforced its credit of points by defeating the UAE 2-1. The first half was the calmest in the 17th Gulf Competitions as there were no goals for either side until the last minute of the compensation time when the UAE's striker, Fahd Masaod exploited the mistake of an Omani fullback to place the ball in the left corner of Oman's net, announcing the first goal for his side.
In the 28th minute of the second half, the Omani equalizer came through the attacker Hassan Mudhafar. Supporters were surprised when Fahd Masaod got a yellow card for taking off his shirt when he scored the goal, while the Kuwaiti referee did not issue a card to an Omani player who also did the same thing. This sparked rage in the UAE supporters who were present at the stadium.
Through a very strong shot in the 40th minute of the second half, Omani Mohammad Saror added the second to put his side one goal ahead, making Oman the earliest qualifier for the 17th Gulf semifinals.

Iraq & Qatar
In a never before seen outcome, Iraq drew with Qatar 3-3. The former appeared the best in terms of attacking and annoying the Qatari goalkeeper. The Iraqi team relied mostly on strong shots from long distances and completely dominated the first 30 minutes of the game.
Razaq Farhan scored the first goal for Iraq from a corner kick in the fifteenth minute of the first half.
Qatar answered in minute 38 of the same half through its forward player Bilal Mohammad, and Waleed Jasim added the second for Qatar through a penalty kick, just eight minutes after scoring the equalizer. The first half ended with Qatar leading Iraq 2-1.
In the eight minute of the second half, Iraq retaliated through its skilled shooter Nasha'at Akram who equalized the result but Waleed Jasim put his side a head once again in the 11th minute of the same half. He exploited the carelessness among Iraqi defenders to reclaim his side's one-goal advantage.
In the second minute of the compensation time, which was counted at seven minutes, Iraqi player Haider Abdulamir equalized the result once again to end with a 3 all draw.