Group A: Iraq defeat UAE, Qatar bounce back
Doha: Iraq registered their second consecutive win in Group A of the 2019 Gulf Cup, defeating United Arab Emirates 2-0 at the Khalifa International Stadium on Friday.
Qatar bounced back from their 2-1 loss to Iraq with an emphatic 6-0 win over Yemen in the group's evening match.
The win confirmed Iraq's place in the semi-finals as they now top the group with six points while UAE and Qatar will face off on Monday to decide the second team to advance to the last four stage.
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UAE 0-2 Iraq
Iraq didn’t wait long to take the lead, going ahead after only seven minutes when Alaa Abdulzahra sent a neat pass into the area to Alaa Abbas, who slotted the ball under UAE custodian Mohammed Al Shamsi.
Iraq nearly doubled their advantage in the 32nd minute but Amjad Attwan's shot from outside the area was easily handled by Al Shamsi.
However, Al Shamsi was beaten again five minutes later when Ali Adnan sent a teasing cross into the area which was headed home by Alaa Abdulzahra.
Things didn’t change in the second half as Iraq continued to dominate with second half substitute Mohanad Ali testing Al Shamsi.
Iraq had a chance to seal a bigger win in the 82nd minute when Belgian referee Alexandre Boucaut pointed to the penalty spot after consulting VAR for a foul by UAE defender Khalifa Al Hammadi on Mohammad Reda but Ali Adnan failed to beat Al Shamsi, who dived right to block the ball.
Qatar 6-0 Yemen
Qatar pressured Yemen from the start but had to wait till the half-hour mark to go ahead, Abdelkarim Hassan finishing from a close range after a defensive mistake by Nasser Al Gahwashi.
Hassan doubled Qatar's advantage with a screamer from long range past goalkeeper Salem Awad in the 37th minute.
There were more goals in the second half as AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 top scorer Almoez Ali finished with a volley in the 57th minute after receiving a pass from Akram Afif.
Hassan completed his hat-trick in the 71st minute as the referee pointed to the spot for a handball and the 2018 AFC Player of the Year made no mistake with a powerful shot down the centre of the goalmouth.
Second half substitute Abdullah Al Ahrak added another for Qatar with a powerful shot into the top right corner five minutes before the end.
There was still time for 2019 AFC Player of the Year nominee Afif to add a sixth goal as he finished a neat pass by slotting the ball under Salem Awad with just one minute left on the clock.
Saturday - Group B: Kuwait vs Oman; Bahrain vs Saudi Arabia.
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