Oman* 0-0 UAE (5-4 penalties): match report
Oman sealed victory in the 23rd Arabian Gulf Cup on Friday with victory over the UAE in Kuwait City. The game, played between two tired and wary sides, was a suspenseful affair that went all the way to penalties with just one kick of a football seperating the sides when it was all said and done.
Football is cruel and unrelenting sport. This we know but to suggest the way United Arab Emirates lost the Gulf Cup final in Kuwait City on Friday afternoon was harsh would be to undersell just how crushingly disappointing it was. Omar Abdulrahman, their best player in the tournament, is the man who will have long sleepless nights after a couple of missed penalties in this one despite his excellent performances throughout the tournament.
It was a cagey affair, as expected, with UAE failing to reall trouble Oman, who were far more ambitious over the course of the 120 minutes. The eventual losers did not score from play in the competition with their only goal and win in the group stage coming via a penalty in the first game against, ironically, Oman.
It was the UAE who looked like stealing the win from under their opponents' noses at the end of 90 minutes when Ali Ahmed Mabkhout was bundled over in the penalty area only to see the referee point to the spot.
Abdulrahman stepped up and saw his effort saved by Faiyz Al Rashidi, with fate suggesting this one was always destined to go to the distance.
It did go all the way too despite some late scares for UAE as Oman started to slowly and creatively open up their opponents' last line.
All four of the penalties for either side were scored before Abdulrahman stepped up to shoot towards Al Rashidi again from 12 yards and into the same goal. He went the opposite way as his first penalty but so did the keeper and rejected him again as the player, who was of interest to Manchester City in the past, stood staring into the middle distance, cursing his luck.
Mohsin Al Khaldi stepped up to win it for Oman and he made no mistake with a perfectly placed penalty into the top corner for the win. It is Oman's second Gulf Cup title with their last coming in 2009. They also got the chance to exact revenge on the UAE having been pipped at the post by their rivals in 2007 in the ultimate game of the tournament.
Oman vs UAE live stream online:
That is Oman's second ever victory in the Gulf Cup with their last one coming in 2009.
Oman get revenge for their defeat at the hands of Oman in 2007.
Abdulrahman, UAE's best player, misses two penalties. That is just so heartbreaking.
Oman win it 5-4.
Here we go. Al Khaldi. He absolutely buries! Massive penalty kick and he makes no mistake.
Oman with the chance to win it now!
Abdulrahman misses again! That is just heartbreaking.
Said Salim scores. Keeper got a hand to it but he can't keep it out. Poor penalty. 4-4 now!
Al Menhali now. He drives it into the bottom corner and the keeper, Al Rashidi, a little bit lost there. Looked to have changed his mind. 4-3.
Kano ready now! Lovely finish. Keeper was never saving that. A confident strike.
Ismael Ahmed absolutely drives his penalty home! 3-2.
2-2 after two penalties each!
Suhail now with a strange run-up. He scores but he's lucky. Essa guessed the right way.
Barman, the sub, ready now to strike! And he very much does. Straight to the heart. 2-1 to UAE.
Al Hajri steps up for Oman! GOAL! Essa left rooted to the spot. 1-1.
Mabkhout slots it home! 1-0 to UAE.
First penalty for UAE. Mabkhout steps up!
If UAE win this on penalties, they will have won the tournament without scoring from play.
It will be interesting to see who takes the penalties now for UAE as Abdulrahman probably won't be lining up to take the first one! He missed that one at the end of regular time.
120' That's it! We will go to penalties.
120' We are into extra-time of extra-time.
120' And then Oman counter but that is driven up into the air and then Oman are offside. Slogfest in the last couple of second of this but really no quality of chance.
120' And then UAE counter but Abdulrahman sees his touch go safely into Al Rashidi's arms.
120' Oman with one last chance! Cross comes in and it's blocked.
119' Barman bulldozes an Oman defender and gives a free away. That should do it now as Oman take their time over this one.
118' Oman slightly more nervous now but still maaging to keep UAE at bay.
117' Another UAE effort, albeit a speculative one, goes wide. Abdulrahman with the effort. Well wide.
116' UAE having been the subjects of intense spells of pressure, have finally come out of their shells in the last few minutes!
115' We seem to have another casualty of the work put in today. Oman's Al Busaidi is down and looks finished for the game.
114' UAE do attack though through Al Balushi and his cross has too much mustard on it. Way out and away for a throw.
113' UAE growing in confidence in this one with seven minutes to go! Might also be foolish for them to push forward and let Oman into the spaces they vacate at the back. I think both sides happy with penalties at this stage though. Too much to lose for going all out and it would look very naive if you concede from a counter at this late stage.
111' Mabkhout is onside but with lots of work to do. He is racing clear but the speed of Durbein is too much for him as he catches up and clears for a corner. Everyone in the stadium was waiting for a flag there but it never came! Great chance.
110' Muhamad Abdulrahman on now for UAE. He is a brother of Omar.
111' And sent back in again! Punched clear by Essa.
110' And now Oman break free and win a corner. The lethal left foot of Al Khaldi ready to whip it in. Headed clear.
109' Abdulrahman with a lovely ball into the box. Mabkhout takes it down but loses out with too many bodies back for Oman.
108' Oman searching for the winner and looking like the more ambitious at the moment.
108' Barman with an effort after a run into the box. He throws his left foot at it and it hits the side netting.
107' We are back underway for the second half!
105' Half-time in extra-time.
105' Corner comes in and it's put out for a goal-kick.
105' What a save that was by Essa. Send up and over the wall by Al Khaldi and it's saved. A flying, acrobatic save. Brillaint.
105' Some very, very nervous UAE fans watching now!
105' Barman kicks Saleh with quite a rash challenge. Chance for Oman now.
105' Free for Oman in a dangerous position.
104' Another UAE attack comes to nothing.
103' Long, long ball by UAE but Al Rashidi grabsit. Do Oman smell blood? They should have put this to bed.
102' What a chance! Cross comes in and Essa flaps at it. Al Hajri waiting and has an open goal but he heads it wide! What a chance that was to seal this tie. Looked harder to miss.
101' UAE crying out for half-time a brief respite.
100' Oman win a free as Al Khaldi is pulled back quite cynically in the middle of the field.
90'+9' Just two very tired and scared teams out there at the moment which is understandable. UAE even moreso as their semi-final went to penalties with Iraq just days ago too.
90'+7' Oman probably do have the quality to go and try to win this but there's too much at stake here. They can't push too far forward because UAE have proven they are decent on the counter.
90'+7' Cross into the box from Oman after a nice move forward but it's way too high.
90'+5' Nice move by UAE but Al Hamadi has too much to do on the left and his touch takes it away from him in any case.
90'+5' Oman the more coherent to start the half here. Still can't break down UAE.
90'+4' Mabkhout offside as he breaks clear.
90'+3' An abrupt challenge on Kano as he plays the ball back to a teammate. Some tired tackles going in now as the game can't really get a flow going!
90'+2' Oman moving forward in search of their first goal.
90'+1' We are into the first half of extra-time.
90'+5' It's over! We have extra-time as the UAE players speak to Abdulrahman to get him pick his head up. Devastating penalty miss at the end of the game that would have won it.
90'+4' Corner for Oman deep into stoppage time.
90'+3' Saleh remains down and some very concerned faces in the crowd. Not sure if they're worried about the player or the game. The latter I think as Saleh gets up and walks off the field.
90'+3' We are into the third minute of extra-time.
90'+1' Salh down injured now as times expires.
90' Abdulrahman misses it! What a finish. Al Rashidi saves it.
90' Abdulrahman takes it!
90' Abdulrahman sends it into the box and Mabkhout is taken down by Al Musalami.
90' UAE Penalty!!!!!!!!!!!
89' Oman haven't given up on winning this one just yet. But neither have UAE as they break.
88' Heartbreaking for whoever loses this one now! Surely, we are looking at extra-time.
87' Long and searching cross comes in and Al Rashidi grabs it with ease.
84' UAE with a gilt-edged chance. It was Mabkhout with the chance but he fluffed it as it came across goal.
82' Strike from distance and Essa grabs it at the second time of asking.
80' Al Busaidi down the left and he wins a corner. Oman looking for the opener!
79' Another effort bt Essa punches that one away with ease.
77' It's opening up here and I'm not sure who it suits more. Maybe Oman but UAE holding their own.
75' Nearly a penalty. Should have been maybe? Al Hajri goes down under a tackle from Salem but he waves it away and so does the ref.
73' So close. It looked like it went in. Cross comes in from the right and UAE bodies turn it around for a corner. It hit the side netting, which made it look like it had nestled in the bottom of the net.
72' Oman getting close. Another move down the left. Al Yahmadi ends up kicking it off the defender and then back off himself and out for a throw.
70' Reall nice move from Oman. Classic down the left run, pulled back and a man arriving to strike. Straight at the keeper but not a bad move.
68' Abdulrahman dives into a tackle with Al Busaidi and he's lucky not to get a second yellow, maybe. The ref looks at it and decided not to reach for his pocket.
66' UAE win a free. Abdulrahman the fouled party. Chance for them to send one towards goal in search of that first goal. He puts it right into the mixer and it's headed down into Al Rashidi's hands. Not bad.
64' A UAE change. Al Attas is replaced by Al Hamadi.
62' Another chance for Oman. Al Yahmadi strikes wide this time from a nice position just to the left of the goal. Getting closer as UAE continue to regress.
60' Late tackle on Al Saadi by Al Balushi as he hits the deck. Free for Oman.
57' Chance of the game for Oman. Al Khaldi at the back post as a shot is deflected out to him. He heads it at the keeper and gives him an easy save to make! He had to do better there.
56' Abdulrahman wins a free.
54' Change. Barman comes on for Mubarak Ghanim.
52' Far more open in this second half.
52' Attack from Al Yahmadi and he loses out in a good position.
51' UAE with a very rare attack. Ball sent in towards Abdulrahman and he heads just wide of the post. Keeper was scrambling to get across to it and it nearly snuck in but just not accurate enough.
50' We are back underway and Oman move forward. Cleared the first time, they pick it up again and clear it the second time but they come again. Saad Suhail with an excellent run and the finish was absolutely dreadful. He got himself into a lovely position but drove the shot a mile wide.
48' A delay as Kano is down and struggling. He reached for a sliding tackle at the start of the half and may have hurt a muscle.
47' UAE with another strong start to the half. Plenty of intensity. Can they make it pay off this time?
46' We are back underway!
45'+1' And that's it for the first half. 0-0, as many expected. A tight affair.
45'+1' So close. Al Khaldi with the best effort of the half. He drives a shot, low at goal with his left foot. Just wide with the keeper stuck to the spot!
45' UAE with a move forward but another offside. Everything happening in the middle of the field now. Neither side pushing out the boat in attack. After Oman's earlier good spell, they have regressed. UAE lack options in attack every time they get the ball.
44' If anyone looks like scoring it's Oman but Al Hajri, who gets put throught on goal, is marginally offside.
43' Looks like we are set for a stalemate here in the first 45. Neither side with the ability to break down the other.
42' We have another stoppage. Kano collides with a UAE player and Abdulrahman is booked for dissent, it looks like.
40' Free kick got UAE. Mabkhout turned upside down with a kick to the back of the legs. Sent towards goal and it's harmlessly wide as nobody can get anything on it.
38' An effort from Oman. Left-footed shot from Al Hajri but it curls quite awkwardly and wide of the post. Essa dives but he had it covered.
36' Looked like a sore one for Essa. Ball whipped into UAE's box. Al Hajri goes for it and the keeper punches it clear before they collide. The striker landed on his shoulder and the keeper got hit pretty heavily in the head.
34' Should have been a penalty! Al Menhali trips over Suhail on the box and Oman are lucky the ref said it wasn't a foul. Might have been unlucky as the Oman player didn't know much about it but he still tripped over him.
33' UAE slowing it down now with a spell of possession.
31' He gets a counter started. Oman drive forward, cross comes in and it's cleared.
30' UAE with a corner. Abdulrahman involved, as always. Corner comes in and it's collected by Al Rashidi.
29' A rare chance for UAE but that goes flying over the bar.
28' Al Khaldi put through on goal but he was a yard or two offside.
27' Dangerous cross into UAE's penalty area. It had plenty of speed on it from Al Hajri but in reality, nobody could get on the end of it.
25' Omar Abdulrahman squeezed out of it as he tries to make something happen for UAE but Oman win it and Al Yahmadi gets a strike away. It was a dreadful one but it was a strike nonetheless.
24' Oman counter gets the fans off their seats... It ends in a throw though.
23' UAE stand firm but looking increasingly more shaky.
22' That was close.
22' Free for Oman from the right and Kano heads into Essa's hands.
20' Another corner for Oman. UAE far from convincing defending it but they get away as Ibrahim Saleh glances a header out over the sideline. He just sliced it.
19' Strike for UAE. Al Attas gets it out on the right after a long ball. He shoots and it goes just wide of Al Rashidi's post.
18' UAE win a free as Suhail takes down Al Attas on the right in midfield. Sent forward and Oman deal with it and build a counter-attack.
17' Oman continue to boss possession after a relatively slow start.
16' Strike from Al Khaldi and it's blocked out for a corner. Oman keep pushing forward..
15' Oman with some dangerous movement down the left but UAE do well to manage it and win a throw to ease pressure.
14' Corner comes in from Oman and it's headed away but only as far as the Oman corner-taker. bobbling around in the box when it arrives back in but Oman clear again.
11' Oman slowly growing into this game.
9' Al Khaldi really not happy as Ismail Ahmed seems to push him in the back as he loses control of the ball. Wants a free and ref says it's a goal-kick.
8' Long ball towards Abdulrahman but he can't control it and that's a goal-kick.
7' UAe the better side in the opening few minutes. More proactive and pressing with intensity. Nothing even close to Oman's goal though.
6' Omar Abdulrahman fouls Al Saadi on route to the ball. Free for Oman.
5' Omar Abdulrahman plays it out wide to his left-back. UAE building a new attack.
Corner for Oman. Headed out by UAE and then cleared.
2' Long bacll is gathered by Al Rashidi.
2' UAE with all the possession early on. Oman win it back and UAE put them under all sorts of pressure to get it back.
1' Game on!
We are ready for action in Kuwait City.
While Raed Ibrahim Saleh a very neat player for Oman.
Omar Abdulrahman is UAE's danger man.
And the UAE's national anthem just now. A lovely rendition!
The national anthem blares for Oman. They are wearing scarves with Qaboos bin Said's face on them.
The UAE last won the Gulf Cup in 2013, beating Iraq in the final to lift their second title. Today's opponents Oman have won the competition only once, back in 2009.
UAE coach Alberto Zaccheroni is no stranger to the big stage, apart from his experience at AC Milan, he guided Japan to victory in the 2011 AFC Asia Cup final against Australia and then the EAFF East Asian Cup two year later. He's only been at the helm with UAE since October but already has the chance to win another trophy and add to his honours list.
United Arab Emirates' semi-final clash against Iraq was also a closely-fought affair. So much so it ended without goals after extra-time and was finally settled from the penalty spot. UAE won the shoot-out 4-2 to secure their sixth appearance in the final in the competition.
Oman showed resilience and spirit to see off Bahrain in the first of the semi-finals with a slim 1-0 win at the Jaber Al Ahmad International Stadium, the same venue for this evening's final.
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the 2017 Gulf Cup of Nations final as two-time winners United Arab Emirates take on the 2009 champions Oman at Jaber Al-Ahmad International Stadium in Kuwait City. We'll be spending the next few hours building up to the game and savouring the atmosphere as well as bringing up all of the latest developments with both teams leadingm up to the game. And once the whistle blows at 15:30 hours CET in Kuwait we will be delivering live commentary on the game. Join us for the climax of this XXIII edition of the tournament to see who will be crowned 2017 champions.
Oman vs UAE preview:
The final of the Gulf Cup takes place on Friday afternoon at 15:30 CEST from Kuwait City's Jaber Al-Ahmad International Stadium. In a repeat of 2007's final, which was won by UAE thanks to an Ismail Matar goal, the two sides have beaten all comers and will lock horns in the finale of the tournament.
Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Yemen have all ben eliminiated, and we are down to two with Oman aiming for their second victory - 2009 - while UAE look to make it a hat-trick of Gulf Cup trophies in the last 10 years - they won it previously in 207 and 2013.
Oman snuck into the final thanks to a own goal by Mahdi Abdul Jabbar of Bahrain in the semi-final's first half. The UAE and Oman have played 32 times, with 15 wins for the UAE and 6 for Oman. They have tied 11 times.
UAE striker Ahmen Khalil has warned his side of what are Oman's greatest strengths, "It’s true that we won the first game, but they are so strong, they are fast, they play very well on the counter-attack. We have to concentrate. We have to continue like this, we have to work. It’s just one game.
"We hope every player takes this point: that it is a final, that it’s not the same as every game. We have to do all our best and come back to our country as the champions.”
United Arab Emirates
The two sides met earlier in the competition with UAE scoring their one and only goal in the tournament, a penalty, when they defeated their Friday finalists. They went on to beat Iraq on penalties in the final but have not proven to be an exciting, attacking side - that won't bother them if they can win the trophy, however.
So excited are the UAE that, The Ruler of Sharjah on Thursday has announced that six planes will be dedicated to fly out fans of the UAE’s national football team to catch the final game of the Arabian Gulf Cup with fans receiving free tickets to Kuwait City.
"The final is a very important match. It will be such a strong game. We have prepared well for this game and I am confident that we will win," said manager Alberto Zaccheroni during a press conference.