Doha, Nov 27 - Kuwait upset Saudi Arabia 3-1 to register a strong start in 24th Arabian Gulf Cup at Abdullah bin Khalifa stadium late on Wednesday. Experienced Kuwaiti player Bader al Mutawa was awarded the man of the match after his important role in the win against Saudi Arabia in the Group B match. The crucial win against Saudi Arabia has put the 10-time Gulf Cup winners in contention for the semifinals. Ahmed al Dhufairi (43rd minute), Sami al Sanaa (46th) and Mubarek al Funaeni (90th) netted Kuwait’s goals while the consolation goal for Saudi Arabia was scored by Firas al Briekan in the closing minutes.
“Our first victory in this edition of the Gulf Cup will encourage us to do better in the next match against the defending champions on Saturday,” Bader al Mutawa told the reporters. “ A dedicated thanks to all the fans who attended and supported the team. We are looking for their support in the upcoming matches too. The technical staff also deserve praise for their positive efforts,” Al Mutawa added.
Kuwait team under a supervision of domestic coach Thamer Enad managed to beat one of the top favourites in the tournament.
“Our players played a very high technical game against a tough team in the region. Congratulations to all the players for their top performance during the game. Now, we will focus on the next game with the same aim to snatch the winning points,” coach Enad said.
“The victory against Saudi Arabia does not mean the team won the Gulf Cup title. We have to think for the upcoming two matches and to seal a slot in the semis. Our next match is against title holders Oman. They are a very strong team. We will prepare properly for the upcoming matches. Kuwait is here to win and to compete on winning the title as the other teams. All the teams have equal chances with better advantage for Qatar as they play with fans and home support,” Enad concluded.
Herve Renard, coach of Saudi Arabia, took responsibility for the loss against Kuwait. “We missed many scoring chances in the first half. The opponents were better than us as they converted their chances into goals. If our players scored earlier in the match, then it would be another scenario,” Renard added. “The late arrival of the team to Doha might have effected the players. My concern is more on qualifying for the World Cup. But this is also an important tournament in the region,” Renard pointed out.