Hammadi shines as UAE edge past Mauritania at FIFA Arab Cup - GulfToday

Hammadi shines as UAE edge past Mauritania at FIFA Arab Cup

FIFA Arab Cup

UAE’s Khalil Ibrahim Al Hammadi scores a goal against Mauritania during their match on Friday. Reuters

The UAE registered their second straight victory at 2021 FIFA Arab Cup after overcoming Mauritania 1-0 at the Ras Abu Aboud Stadium in Doha on Friday.

Khalil Ibrahim Al Hamadi’s last-gasp goal at the third minute of the injury time sent the Whites closer to book their places in the next knockout phase.

The victory over Mauritania leaves the UAE on six points and in a comfortable position ahead of the showdown with Tunisia.

Qatar also reached the quarter-finals following a 2-1 victory over Oman, thanks to a stoppage time own goal, while Bahrain and Iraq played out a 0-0 draw in their Group A ties on Friday.

The victory took Qatar’s points tally to six points from two victories in as many matches. The Felix Sanchez-coached side defeated Bahrain 1-0 in their opening match.

The draw leaves Bahrain with one point and bottom of the table from two matches, while Iraq have two points.

The hosts, backed by home fans, had numerous chances to score but they finally found the back of the net in the 32nd minute with striker Akram Afif successfully converting from the penalty spot.

Afif almost turned provider just before the half-time whistle when his short throw-in was met by Homam Ahmed but Omani goalkeeper Ibrahim Al Mukhaini made a spectacular save to deny the Qataris a second goal.

Oman started the second half promisingly and had a chance to draw level in the 52nd minute when Khalid Al Hajri sent a pass to Abdullah Fawaz, but the midfielder couldn’t find the target.

Oman’s persistence was rewarded in the 74th minute when Al Hajri headed the ball into the back of the net following Fawaz delightful cross from the right flank.

After repeated attacks deep into the match, Qatar got their winner through an own goal by Issam Al Sabhi in added time, who was trying to block a cross but his touch crossed the goal-line.

Both teams were eager to get their campaign off to a winning start with Bahrain falling to a 1-0 defeat against Qatar in their opening match on Tuesday, while ten-man Iraq salvaged a 1-1  draw  against  Oman following a last-gasp equaliser off a penalty kick.

Iraq dominated possession but were wasteful in front of goal with Amjed Attwan, Bashar Resan and Sherko Kareem all coming close inside the opening half hour.

Bahrain played in patches and only had two attempts on goal from Ismaeel Abdulatif and Waleed Al Hayam in the closing stages of the first half as the score remained 0-0 going into the break.

Bahrain were more adventurous in the second half and came close to finding the net through Mohamed Marhoon in the 52nd minute, while Jasim Alshaikh and Komail Alaswad were also denied just after the hour mark.

Neither side could find the breakthrough at the end of 90 minutes as they settled for a draw.

Bahrain play Oman next on Monday with Iraq taking on Qatar.

Meanwhile, FIFA President Gianni Infantino joined operational meetings on the first rest at Arab Cup 2021, praising the effort of the workforce of FIFA and Qatar with the objective of delivering a successful Arab Cup and also with a view to preparing the best 2022 World Cup.

Infantino joined FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura, Chief Tournaments and Events Officer, Colin Smith and Nasser Al Khater, Chief Executive Officer, FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 in the daily meeting with the multi-departmental operational team, which focused on key points to take away from the opening matches for each of the 16 participating teams in the tournament.

“We are on a team working towards a unique FIFA World Cup and we are determined to make it the greatest ever”, said the FIFA President Infantino.

“The collaboration is highly valued, and it was good to see at first hand the energy, skill and resolve that the team members have in their pursuit of continual improvements.”

Related articles