Abdulaziz al Maqbali’s first half goals gave Oman the winning points as they outplayed a fighting Kuwait 2-1 in the second round matches of Group B at the 24th edition of the Arabian Gulf Cup at the Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium in Doha on Saturday.
With their victory, Oman snatched three points and now have four points from two matches and get much closer to earn one of the tickets to the semis round while Kuwait’s tally remained on three points.
In the first ten minutes, both teams were focused in the attacking side to seek the first goal. Qatar’s referee Khamis al Marri used VAR system as Mohsin al Ghassani fell down in the box in the 15th minute and decided a penalty for Oman. Abdulaziz al Maqbali shot the penalty and put the team ahead in the 16th minute with a big support from the fans who attended at Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium.
After the opening goal, Mohsin al Ghassani pressed back to the opponent’s side to add another goal. From scoring attempt, Al Ghassani shot a ball but it was saved by Kuwait’s goalkeeper Hameed Said.
Oman’s strikers continued their domination at the Kuwait defense side and Abdulziz al Maqbali dropped in the box after close contact with Kuwaiti defender in the 29th minute. Accordingly, Qatari referee decided once again for another penalty and it was converted by Abdulziz al Maqbali into the second goal in the 32nd minute.
Kuwait’s first real scoring chance was missed by Yousef al Sulaiman as he received golden pass from Abdullah al Buraiki and shot it with above past a diving Oman goalkeeper Fayez al Rushaidi. The match recorded a big crowd attendance of both teams fans which keep on cheering in each attempts. Oman’s defence was spearheaded by Mohammed al Musalami which stood tight against the experienced Kuwait player Badr al Mutawaa and his teammate Yousef al Sulaiman.
Oman were right on top of their game to end the first half leading 2-0.
Kuwait’s head coach Thamer Enad began the second half with a substitution of Faisal al Harbi replaced by Fahd al Ibrahim. Coach Enad’s instructions were very clear to the players to press and increase and bring the match to the original position. Kuwait’s forwards had some dangerous moves near the goalkeeper Fayez al Rushaidi but without real effectiveness.
Oman captain Ahmed Mubarak ‘Kanu’ picked up a yellow card for his tough tackle with Kuwait’s Sultan al Enezi in the 65th minute. Oman players returned back to defence while Kuwait dominated their raids which succeeded as Yousef al Sulaiman scored the first goal as he shot into the net in the 78th minute.
The Kuwaiti goal gave more encouragement as they pressed continuously seeking for the equaliser. The organising committee announced the total fans who attended the match and it had reached more than 7,000 spectators.
Coach Koeman focused on the defense side as most players returned back while Yousef al Sulaiman and his team forwards pressurised on the attack side. Oman’s tight defense broke all the scoring attempts for Kuwaiti players. Oman players managed their lead and ended the match with a 2-1 victory.