Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Qatar all have joined Iraq to the semi-final games of the 24th Arabian Gulf Cup on Monday, December 2nd after claiming victories in the final round of the group stage.
Already qualified for the semi-final since finishing the second round last week, Iraq held to goalless draw with Yemen to finish the group stage in the lead of Group A with seven points.
Qatar have placed second in Group A with six points after achieving victories in two games and losing in one.
In Group B, Saudi Arabia snatched the lead with six points after beating title holders Oman 3-1 in the group stage third round on Monday.
Firas Al-Birakan opened the scoring for Saudi Arabia in the 26th minute, before Hattan Babhir doubled the score three minutes ahead of the break.
In the second half, Al Mandhar Al Alawi scored Yemen’s only goal just ten minutes after the break to make it 2-1 for the Green Falcons.
Two minutes after Oman scored their goal, Hattan Babhir again found the net to finish the game with a 3-1 victory for Saudi Arabia.
“We congratulate the Saudi people for qualifying for the Arabian Gulf Cup semi-finals,” Saudi national team player Abdel-Fattah Asieri told a press conference after the game.
“We didn’t achieve anything until now; we still have a big mission in the tournament,” he added.
“We arrived here to win the title and we will do our best to achieve our target,”
In another pitch, Bahrain booked their place in the semi-final after beating Kuwait 4-2 on Monday.
Bahrain placed second in the group’s ranking with four points as they achieved the victory in one game, drew in another, and lost in the second round.
“I am happy with the players’ performance as well as reaching the tournament’s semi-finals,” Bahrain national team coach Hélio Sousa said.
Iraq will face Bahrain in the semi-final of the 24th Arabian Gulf Cup on Thursday, December 5th at Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium, while Saudi Arabia will play against Qatar on the same day at Al Janoub Stadium.
“We still have another big game against superb team Iraq, as they are one of the best teams in the tournament,” Sousa added.
With the participation of all eight members of the Arab Gulf Cup Football Federation, the 24th biennial football competition started on Tuesday, November 26th in Doha and will finish on December 8th.
The idea for the tournament was first established at the 1968 Summer Olympics, and the first Arabian Gulf Cup took place in 1970, which was won by Kuwait.