Doha: Goalkeeper Fayez al Rusheidi was the star of the match as defending champions Oman began their campaign at the 24th Arabian Gulf Cup with a goalless draw against Bahrain in the Group B match in Doha on Wednesday.
With the result, each team have one point. Oman will play against Kuwait on Saturday while Bahrain will take on Saudi Arabia in the second round of the group stage matches. At Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium, one of the recently built stadiums in Doha, both teams were slugging it in the center in the first 10 minutes until Bahrain’s Mohammed al Ruhaimi got short pass and tried to enter the box but goalkeeper Faiyz al Rusheidi got the ball easily.
Later, Red Warriors midfield zone headed by Ahmed Kanu began their domination over the opponent side. The Belgium referee Alexandre Boucaut showed yellow card to Harib al Saadi for an infringement on Bahrain’s Komail Hassan.
Oman came very close to score a goal when young Al Mundhar al Alawi received nice pass from Mohsin al Ghassani and shot the ball but Bahrain’s goalkeeper was alert to foil the attempt in the 30th minute. Eight minutes later, Bahrain missed an attempt after a wonderful cross made by Bahrain’s Rashed Khalil to Mohammed al Romaihi who shot the ball but well taken by Fayez al Rusheidi. The first half time ended in a goalless draw.
Bahrain started the half strongly as Mahdi Faisal missed scoring chance when his strong shot was saved by Al Rusheidi in the 50th minute. A quick response from Oman was foiled by Bahrain goalkeeper Sayed Subbar. The Sultanate’s Mohsin Jawher received a yellow card after a foul on Bahrain forward Komail Hassan in the 64th minute. Oman were strengthening their attacks later as Bahrain looked to employ counter moves.
In the next action, Oman’s goalkeeper Al Rusheidi saved the team from a goal as Komail Hassan's continuous attempts were brilliantly put out by the lanky custodian. Coach Koeman then decided for a substitution as Arshad al Alawi replaced Mohammed al Ghafri. Bahrain continued their attacks and another golden scoring chance was missed as Komail’s shot hit the bar in the 78th minute.
Al Mundhar al Alawi then tried to break through Qatari defence but in vain. Koeman replaced Al Mundhar by Yassen al Shiyadi in the 89th minute. The match continued without any change in the result. Man of match Fayez al Rusheidi, who foiled many scoring attempts from Bahrain, received an award from the organising committee.