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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Qatar faces Iraq at Doha's Khalifa Stadium at 1630 GMT in the tournament opener.
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