Local Sports

UAE thrash Yemen 3-0 in Gulf Cup; Iraq beat Qatar 2-1

Filed on November 27, 2019
The UAE's Ali Mabkhout (7) celebrates with his teammates after scoring a goal against Yemen in Doha on Tuesday. (AFP)

A fine hat trick from Ali Mabkhout (21 min, 38 min, 54 min) helped The Whites get off to a flying start in the tournament

The UAE beat Yemen 3-0 in their opening match of the Gulf Cup football tournament in Doha on Tuesday night.

A fine hat trick from Ali Mabkhout (21 min, 38 min, 54 min) helped The Whites collect all three points in their first match in Group A.

Earlier, Iraq beat hosts Qatar 2-1 in the tournament opener on Tuesday.

Goals from Mohammad Qasem (18 min) and Mohammad Qasem (27 min) put the Iraqis 2-0 up in the first half.

Qatar scored through Abdulaziz Hatem in the 49th minute, but couldn't find the equaliser in the Group A game.

Meanwhile, Oman coach Erwin Koeman said he was aiming to take his team to the final of the tournament.

Defending champions Oman begin their campaign against Bahrain in Group B on Wednesday, and Koeman said his team also needs some luck.

"The expectations are always high, especially when you are the defending champions, but this is not a problem. I think we are ready and like any team we need some luck as well," the Dutchman told reporters.

"All teams are strong and there is no big differences between them because this is an exceptional tournament for everyone."

Koeman took over in February from Pim Verbeek following the resignation of his fellow Dutchman, who took Oman to the knockout rounds of the Asian Cup for the first time earlier this year.

Koeman started his reign with four wins in five World Cup qualifiers with Oman lying second in their group, one point behind leaders Qatar, the 2022 World Cup hosts.

Asked if Oman were under pressure because they were champions, Koeman said: "There is no big pressure because if there is pressure we will not play good games. My job is to reduce this pressure but I am confident because I know my team's strengths."

"As I said, we need some luck," said Koeman, the former Hungary and Feyenoord coach.

"It's good to be here with Oman as the champions, but this is a new tournament, a different time, a new team and of course our goal is to qualify for the final, that's our first goal," said Koeman, who is the older brother of the Netherlands' coach Ronald Koeman.

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