The conclusion of the 25th Arabian Gulf Cup Group Stage has kicked off with the four teams fighting off in their matches
Having already been eliminated from the tournament, Yemen faced off against Iraq, who sought to secure a draw to qualify for the semi-finals of the Gulf Cup.
The Lions of Mesopotamia ignited the match firmly on home grounds in front of a full 65,000-seat Basra International Stadium on Thursday evening.
Keen to attack the pitch, the Iraqi footballers made a few attempts but were far from forming a challenging offence against the Yemenis.
On the other hand, Yemen played decent defence but could not complete any attack.
Drawing to an evenly matched battle, the Iraqi team broke out the stagnant attack with Mustafa Nazim nailing in a beautiful header in the 40th minute.
Iraq taking the lead courtesy of a header from the footballer placed the team into the advantage of the game.
Nailing nine shots with four on target, Iraq not only played a better attack but held the ball 77% of the time.
Towards half time, it was clear that the hosts would clear this game as Yemen was outmatched, failing to play a collaborative match.
The match restarted with Yemen scoring a goal that would ultimately be overruled offside but denoted that the footballers were still aiming to fight.
Again in the 56th minute, Yemen’s Ahmed Maher struck in another stunning goal, but it was ruled offside for the second time.
As if it was written in the stars, Hussain scored minutes later, edging his second goal within one minute.
With a score of 4-0, the footballer got a standing ovation after being substituted in the game’s final minutes.
Iraq extended their lead even further, with Hussein Ali making it 5-0 in the 88th minute of the match.
At the top of their groups, Oman and Saudi Arabia put on a show in Iraq’s Al-Minaa Olympic Stadium.
Starting the game aggressively, referee Ning Ma called several fouls on the two teams producing what many fans expected to be an exciting match.
With much vigor in the midfield, Oman combated the pitch but was left deflected by a strict Saudi defence.
Close to producing an opener, Saudi Arabia was metres away from scoring but was blocked by the Omani fullbacks.
In the 34th minute, Oman’s Al Mandhar Al Alaw slashed the back of the net, with Saudi Arabia’s Turki Al-Ammar setting an equaliser before the half time whistle.
Drawn 1-1, Saudi Arabia’s comeback set a worrying signal to Oman as the Falcons played a potent offence.
Generating danger, Saudi Arabia had five shots on goal.
Oman’s Branko Ivankovic made changes on the pitches in the 65th minute to regain custody of the ball and be more offensive.
The decision-making creates an impact as Hareb Al-Saad downs a shot producing a lead against the Saudis in the 84th minute.
Thought to win, the Falcons faced a defeat to Oman.