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Oman edge Bahrain, reach historic Gulf Cup final


Oman national team stormed into the final of the 23rd Arabian Gulf Cup as they edged Bahrain 1-0 in the semi-final at Jaber International Stadium in Kuwait on Tuesday.

The lone goal of the game was in the first half as Bahrain striker Mahdi Abd al-Jaber headed the Omani corner kick into his own net in the 29th minute. Oman became the first team to reach a fourth final in the Arabian Gulf Cup,  since the 17th edition when the tournament adopted a two-group system with eight teams.

Dutchman Pim Verbeek started the game with the same formation and line-up he used against the UAE and Kuwait. And they managed to fully control the first half with ball mostly in Bahrain’s half. The Omani side were close to taking the lead in the first 20 minutes when the long shots by Jamil Al Yahmedy and Mohsen Jawhar missed the target narrowly. Verbeek’s men continued their pressure until the 29th minute when Mohsen Jawhar's corner was headed by Bahrain attacker Mahdi Abd al-Jaber for an own goal.

After the goal, Bahrain coach Soukup changed his style to come out and attack, in which they dominated the possession in the last five minutes but without any threat. In the second half, Bahrain managed to attack and produced a number of golden chances but  superman goalkeeper Fayez al Rushaidi was in top form to keep his sheet clean for the third game in a row. Oman will play either UAE or Iraq in the final.

Jaber al Ajmi

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