The Saudi Arabia national football team and their counterparts in Bahrain have booked their places in the 24th Arabian Gulf Cup final game after beating Qatar and Iraq respectively on Thursday December 5th in the semi-finals.
Bahrain defeated Iraq 5-3 on penalty kicks after the game’s full time finished with 2-2 draw between the two sides at Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium in Doha.
Mohanad Ali opened the scoring for Iraq only six minutes from the start to give the side an early lead, eight minutes before Abdulla Al Hazaa snatched the equaliser for Bahrain.
Ibrahim Bayesh scored and gave the lead again to Iraq four minutes later from Bahrain’s equaliser.
Bahrain national team midfielder Mohamed Marhoon snatched the draw again for his team two minutes after the break while the penalty shootouts gave the green light to the Reds to qualify for the tournament’s final game.
“Today’s game proved that we have brilliant players in our squad who are able to achieve positive results in the critical time,” Bahrain national team coach Hélio Sousa said.
“We made history as reaching the tournament’s final game is a great achievement. We will try to reach our target as we aim to win the title,” Sousa said.
In Al Janoub Stadium, Saudi Arabia defeated Qatar 1-0 in the Arabian Gulf Cup semi-final game on Thursday December 5th to set-up a football crunch showdown against Bahrain in the final.
Al-Shabab striker Abdullah Al Hamddan snatched the victory goal in the 28th minute for Saudi Arabia, who managed to keep their lead over their hosts until the end.
“We achieved a difficult victory over a tough team play at home before their fans,” Saudi national team coach Hervé Renard told the post-game press conference.
“We achieved a big victory, but we didn’t win the title yet, so we still have a tough game in the final”.
Saudi Arabia will face Bahrain in the 24th Arabian Gulf Cup final game on December 8th at Khalifa International Stadium.
With the participation of all eight members of the Arab Gulf Cup Football Federation, the 24th biennial football competition started on 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.