Ali Mabkhout scores a hat-trick as UAE drub Yemen to start Gulf Cup campaign in style - GulfToday

Ali Mabkhout scores a hat-trick as UAE drub Yemen to start Gulf Cup campaign in style


UAE's forward Ali Mabkhout celebrates with his team after scoring a goal against Yemen in Doha. AFP

Gulf Today, Staff Reporter

The UAE defeated Yemen 3-0 in their opening match of the Gulf Cup in Doha on Tuesday night. The UAE players took control of the game from the start with their star player Ali Mabkhout scoring twice in the first half. 

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The Yemenis took some shots at the post but could not go past the UAE goalkeeper. The UAE maintained solid defence, which the Yemenis failed to thwart despite couple of attempts.

UAE-Gulf-2 Ali Mabkhout shoots the ball during the match in Doha. AFP

Mabkhout scored the third goal at 54th minute as the UAE dominated the game completely. The ball was mostly in UAE possession.

The UAE went into the defensive mode and did not allow the Yemenis any chance to score, and thus emerged as the winners.

UAE take on Yemen as Gulf Cup begins in Qatar tomorrow

On the other hand, Kuwait coach Thamer Enad said Gulf championships have not abandoned their traditions and were always pressured by the momentum that accompanies them.

UAE-Gulf-4 UAE's coach Bert van Marwijk looks on during the 24th Gulf Cup Group A football match. AFP

Thamer congratulated, at the beginning of his talk, the Saudi Club Al Hilal for winning the Asian Champions League where he described this victory as a pride for the Gulf and all Arabs.

The Gulf Cup kicked off on Tuesday in Qatar, with teams from its neighbouring nations joining to play, in a sign that relations with the host nation — which also hosts the World Cup in 2022 - may be improving after a two-year freeze.

UAE-Gulf-3 UAE's starting eleven pose for a group picture at the Abdullah Bin Khalifa Stadium in Doha. AFP

The UAE were in action on Tuesday in Doha, with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain playing on Wednesday in the Qatari capital.

Advertising for the Gulf Cup dotted around Doha was quickly updated to include the flags of the three newly added competitors.

"Welcome to Qatar," the Qatar Football Association tweeted on Monday along with a heart emoji and a welcome video of the Emirati team arriving in Doha.

An official from the Cairo-based Arab League is to visit Doha for a conference during the tournament.

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