Oman are Gulf Cup champios
Kuwait City: Oman goalkeeper Faiyz Al Rashidi denied UAE’s Omar Abdul Rahman not once but twice from the spot to steal the Gulf Cup with 5-4 win in penalties in front of a packed house at the the Jaber International Stadium in Kuwait.
The Omanis survived the regular time as goalkeeper Fayez Al-Rashidi denied a penalty kick by Omar Adulrahman in the 91st minute.
The teams adopted a conservative approach during the initial stages of the match but it was Oman who created more chances as they went close a couple of times midway through the first half. But Fahmy Saeed and Ahmed Mubarak couldn’t make good of the opportunities as they misdirected their headers.
In the third minute of the second half, Jameel al-Yahmadi almost scored past UAE goalkeeper Khaled Eissa when after a dazzling run he shot from a tight angle only to see the ball graze the post.
A couple of minutes later, UAE’s Abdulrahman went agonisingly close with his header as Oman survived a scare.
UAE could have nailed the trophy a few minutes from time when they won a penalty after Ali Mabkhout was pushed from behind inside the box. But Omani goalkeeper Fayez al-Rashidi produced an excellent save to block Abdulrahman’s shot.
Either team scored in the extra time before the penalty shootout in which Adulrahman missed another kick when it was tied 4-4.
Mohsin Al Khaldi stepped up to score the last penalty for Oman, which won the Gulf Cup for the second time after a title victory in 2009.
The victory triggered off enthusiastic celebrations in Oman where men, women and children took to the streets in the capital Muscat and other cities, waving their national flag and flashing the victory sign.
Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Iraq, Yemen and Kuwait competed for the Gulf Cup, which was held every two years since the first edition in 1970.
The Kuwaiti team has won the title 10 times compared to three titles each for Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The UAE won it twice.