Bahrain’s Gulf Cup title-defence ends | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Bahrain’s Gulf Cup title-defence ends

TDT | Manama                      

The Daily Tribune –   

Bahrain’s dreams of defending their title in the 25th Arab Gulf Cup ended in heartbreak last night following a 0-1 semi-final loss to Oman at Al Minaa Olympic Stadium in Basra, Iraq.

It took a wonder goal by Jameel Al Yahmadi seven minutes from the end of regular time to separate the two sides.

The Omanis are now through to the final, where they will face hosts Iraq on Thursday night for the crown.

The Iraqis booked their place with a 2-1 victory over Qatar in yesterday’s other final four contest.

Ibrahim Bayesh and Aymen Hussein were both on target for Iraq on either side of an Amro Surag goal for Qatar, all in the first half.

Bahrain depart from Basra disappointed after what started off as a promising campaign.

They won their first two preliminary round contests against the UAE and the Qataris before drawing with Kuwait to book their place in the last four.


They could not continue their winning ways last night, however, having only a handful of chances to score, including none on target in the second half.

Bahrain head coach Helio Sousa started the match with Sayed Mohammed Jaafar in goal; Sayed Redha Isa, Amine Hasan, Waleed Al Hayam and Sayed Dhiya Saeed on the back line; Ali Haram, Jassim Al Shaikh, Ali Madan, Abdulwahab Al Malood and Mahdi Humaidan in a five-man midfield; and Abdulla Yusuf as the lone striker.

Humaidan had the Bahrainis’ best opportunity in the 22nd minute, but his shot from close range from the left of the box was saved by Oman goalkeeper Ibrahim Saleh Al Mukhaini.

That was one of just two shots on target for the nationals in the opening 45 minutes, when Oman had none.

After the break, Jaafar made a fine save in the 61st minute on a low attempt by Oman’s Zahir Al Aghbari.

Bahrain’s Ali Madan then had an effort go inches wide of the right post in the 70th minute.

At this point, the Omanis were beginning to threaten more often as they pushed hard to find the net.

They were finally rewarded in the 83rd minute with Al Yahmadi’s winning strike from several metres outside the box off an assist provided by Salaah Al Yahyaei.

Al Yahmadi hit a rocket with his right foot that swerved into the top-right corner of the net, away from the reach of a diving Jaafar, who tried valiantly to make a stop.