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Saudi Arabia to take on Bahrain in final of 24th Arabian Gulf Cup

Arabian Gulf Cup 2019 Final: Saudi Arabia and Bahrain will face each other

Saudi Arabia, the 3-time winners of the Arabian Gulf Cup, defeated Qatar, the Asian champions by 1-0 in the hotly fought semi-final. The 24th edition’s semi-final was played at the Al Janoub Stadium. Saudi Arabia will now compete against Bahrain (they previously beat Iraq on penalties in the earlier semi-final) in the final match of the Arabian Gulf Cup to be held on Sunday. This match will take place at the Khalifa International Stadium.

Felix Sanchez, the coach, played his time-tested 3-4-2-1 formation and Qatar dominated the match overall but failed to put in a goal. Young Abdulla Hamdan scored in the first half for Saudi Arabia and won them the game. Qatar’s goal possession percentage stood at 62% in this crucial match where they had 21 shots to their name but only two were on target. Saudi Arabia defended strongly, keeping Qatar’s strikers firmly in check.

Sanchez did not implement major changes in the Qatar squad that defeated UAE 4-2 on Monday for winning a spot in the semi-final. Midfielder Abdulaziz Hatim was the sole change in the team as a replacement for Musaab Khidir, the defending midfielder. Both teams started similarly before Qatar commenced attacking the Saudi Arabian defense strongly. As a winger, Pedro Miguel paved the way for a great opportunity in the 7th minute, enabling a low and perfectly timed cross although Almoez Ali, the striker, failed to connect properly.

Qatar continued pushing Saudi Arabia, attacking the defense repeatedly but without being able to score a goal. The Green Falcons only managed a shot after 15 minutes of play with Captain Nawaf Shaker coming inside the box for an attempt that was neatly blocked by Saad Al Sheeb, the goalkeeper. The side spearheaded by Herve Renard took pole position, scoring the goal courtesy Hamdan in the 28th minute.  Al Sheeb erred when he could not hold onto the flying cross from Sultan Al Ghanam, the right back and Al Hamdan headed the ball into the net in spite of the last minute efforts made by Salem Al Hajri.

The goal spurred a faster pace in the game with Qatar aggressively attempting to equalize and creating multiple chances in the bargain. With 4 minutes left till half-time, Almoez’s pass discovered Abdulaziz Hatem in a good stance within the box although he struck wide. Hatem once again hit the ball straight to Fawaz Al Qarni, the goalkeeper, after getting the ball from Miguel in stoppage time. Saudi Arabia took the lead 1-0 at halftime but Qatar had enhanced ball possession throughout which they had only one shot on target out of 6 attempts. Akram Afif, the newly anointed best player in Asia and Mohammed Al Khabrani, the defender from Saudi Arabia, were cautioned by Kuwaiti referee Ahmed Alali at the beginning of the second half. Hatem again got unlucky at 63 minutes when his attempt bludgeoned off the post and the head of the keeper. Then, Hattan Bahebri came in for the skipper. Mohammed Ismail also came in for Pedro and Ziyad Al Sahafi replaced Hamdan.

Afif was marked tightly and could not make an impact overall. He also headed wide off the post after a nice cross from Ismail. The home team attacked many more times, leading the Saudi Arabian players to start consuming more time by going down after losing the ball several times. During stoppage time, Boulem Khouki missed the target once again as Qatar failed to find an equalizer. The result leaves Saudi Arabia firmly on course to win their 4th title in this tournament so far.

Venue Details of Arabian Gulf Cup 2019 Final

Time: 10:30 PM
Day: Sunday
Final Teams: Bahrain Vs. Saudi Arabia
Place: Khalifa International Stadium

Saudi Arabia Vs. Bahrain Head to Head

Saudi Arabia Against Bahrain

Games Won:19
Games Drawn:11
Games Lost:6

Stats Shows that Saudi Arabia has more chance to win this Gulf Cup 2019 Final.

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