Bahrain held a 10-man Kuwait to a 1-1 draw to qualify for the semifinals of the 25th Arabian Gulf Cup at the Basra International Stadium in Iraq on Friday night.
Bahrain topped the group with seven points to qualify while Kuwait bowed out after earning four points but finishing third in Group B on goal-difference to Qatar, who claimed the second spot from the group.
Bahrain will face Oman (5.15 pm) while Qatar take on Iraq (9.15 pm) in the semifinals on January 16.
Bahrain netted the first goal in the 26th minute.
Sayed Dhiya’s brilliant pass was well-guided by Mahdi al Humaidan with a right-footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner of Kuwait net.
Shabib al Khaldi struck the Kuwait equaliser just before the half-time with a flying header that ballooned up to fall into the right corner of Bahrain net past goalkeeper Sayed Jaafar. Hamad al Qallaf gave a cross after a through pass from Hasan al Enezi.
Kuwait goalkeeper saved a good shot by Komail al Aswad in the 34th minute from the centre of the box after a through pass from Mahdi al Humaidan.
In 31st minute, Bahrain missed a chance closely when Mahdi Ali’s shot missed to the right.
In the 30th minute, Kuwait’s Mubarak al Faneni’s shot from outside the box after a pass from Shabaib al Khaldi is saved in the bottom left corner by keeper Jaafar.
Ahmed Bughammar was caught offside in the 29th minute after a through ball by Komail al Aswad.
Hamad al Qallaf was shown a yellow card for a bad foul on Hamza Abdullah Idris in the 22nd minute.
Mahdi al Humaidan and Komail also were booked earlier for rough tackles on Kuwaiti players earlier.
In the 11th minute, Kuwait’s Bader Tareq’s long-ranger was saved by the Bahrain keeper in the bottom left corner.
Bahrain’s Hamad al Shamsan got a yellow for a foul on Fahad al Hajeri of Kuwait.
In the first minute itself, Bahrain made a strong start as Mahdi al Humaidan’s well-directed shot was blocked by the Kuwait defence.
In the second-half, Kuwait coach Rui Periera Bento brought in Ahmad al Dhefiri for Faisal al Harbi and Mahdi Dashti replaced Bader Tareq.
Bahrain missed a chance in the 51st minute after Ahmed Bughammar’s shot from outside the box missed to the right.
In the 68th minute, Hamad al Qallaf received red card after his second yellow card with a foul on Bahrain’s Ali Madan.
Hamad had an attempt missed earlier with his shot from outside the box missed to the right after a headed pass from Hasan al Anezi.
In the 65th minute, Bahrain made a double change with Ali Madan replacing Mohamed Marhoon and Abdulla Yusuf Helal coming on for Hamza Abdullah Idris.
Mahdi Ali’s shot from outside the box is too high following a corner in the 61st minute.
In the 78th minute, Abdulla Yusuf’s shot was saved by Kuwait keeper.
After two minutes, Abdulla Yusuf hit a strong shot but missed to the left.
In the 81st minute, Ali Khalaf of Kuwait missed the top right corner of Bahrain net by a narrow margin.
In the injury time, Bahrain’s Ali Haram’s header from the centre of the box was a bit too high.