Bahrain beat Saudi Arabia to win the 2019 Gulf Cup
Bahrain v Saudi Arabia - 2019 Gulf Cup final
The 2019 Gulf Cup final was far from a classic but Bahrain fans won't care as the perennial beaten finalist tag has now been shrugged off after the 2019 win in Doha following being beaten finalists in 1970, 1982, 1992 and 2003
A 69th minute goal on the counter from Mohamed Al Romaihi was enough to divide the sides but things could have worked out differently had Salem Al-Dawsari's early shot not rocketed off the bar and Al-Faraj convert his ninth minute spot kick.
Chances were few and far between in the second half and despite a late flurry from the Green Falcons, it was the men in red and white who held out to secure a famous win and a possible national holiday in the Gulf state according to earlier reports.
What a great night for Bahrain. The game was far from a classic but the Gulf state won't be concerned with talk earlier of a national holiday should the Pearl Divers win tonight's game !
A great night for Helio Sousa as the Portuguese coach breaks the Bahrain curse with the Pearl Divers beaten finalists in 1970, 1982, 1992 and 2003.
Great scenes here in Doha as the the winning side celebrate with the small pocket of fans who have made the journey south to the Qatari capital.
A small corner Doha is, for the moment red & white
Jubilation for the red and white clad supporters in the Abdullah Bin Khalifa as the Bahrain side celebarte with the travelling support.
What a final few minutes ... more drama than the entire 90 minutes as Renard's side threw everything forward looking for an equalising goal.
Hélio Sousa and his side make history securing the first ever Gulf Cup for Bahrain.
That's it ... Bahrain hang on to secure the 2019 Gulf Cup
Saudi Arabia almost nick it with a hopeful loft into the box almost creeping in...what drama !
Still no final whistle ....
No way through for the men in white. We're now into the 97th min.
Total silence from the supporters in green and white.
Bahrain fans sing and chant sensing that the final whistle is just minutes away.
The ball hits Mohamed Al Romaihi and the goal scorer goes to ground.
Nerves from the Saudi fans in the stand. Mohamed Kanno strikes and the wall does its job.
Saudi Arabia win a free kick on the edge of the box... Danger here for Bahrain. Three players in white over the ball ....
Normal time has expired. 6 minutes of time to be added.
Sayed Hashim on - Redha off for Bahrain
Firas Al-Buraikan works the ball into the Bahrain box and at the crucial moment fluffs his kick and the ball rolls into the grateful hands of keeper Jaffar.
Saudi Arabia push with a dangerous ball from Yasser Al-Shahrani headed behind for a corner.
Time running out for Herve Renard's men with Bahrain looking confident now after the 69th min goal. The pocket of red and white clad supporters doing their bit now too for their side sensing that a historic win is just minutes away.
Sad to see... Al Hooti is stretchered from the pitch as Waleed Al Hayam comes on to replace the injured player.
Reckless fouls now from the men in white too which is certaily a symptom of frustration.
One senses Saudi Arabia don't have enough in the tank as they have failed to carve out any real clear-cut chances in this second period.
So, 15' away from a major upset, can Bahrain hang on and secure their first ever Gulf Cup title? A free kick for the Pearl Divers is hit straight at the Saudi keeper.
By the way, the assist for the Bahrain goal from Mahdi Al-Humaidan was sublime ....inch perfect !
Abdulfattah Asiri carded for a cynical trip as Bahrain break.
Asiri on for Saudi Arabia/Otayf off
The right hand side again was the supply channel as the 28-year-old was alert to latch on to the fine assist. The Bahrain fans have found their voice !
Yasser Al-Shahrani has a go from outside the box but fails to get accuracy on the effort as the ball drifts wide.
Good from Bahrain as they break down the right hand side and a fine whipped delivery forces Saudi Arabia to give away a corner. Better !
The game needs a spark. It looked like it was going to catch fire in the first ten mins of action with the Saudi side hitting the crossbar and missing a spot kick. Even the fans look like they need a spurt of inspiration from the pitch.
Change coming up for Bahrain with Thiago Fernandes poised to make an appearance, Madan making way for the forward.
Bahrain seem to be sitting deeper and committing less men forward with each counter attack. Playing for penalties possibly ?
Saudi No. 9 Alhamddan goes to ground and looks for a spot kick which fails to convince the Swiss referee.
Very much all the play concentrated in the Bahrain half as Saudi Arabia push the men in red back. The game could do with a goal !
Baquer next player into the ref's book tonight. A rash challenge seeing him the second Bahrain player carded.
Salman has a go from an acute angle and almost hits the target forcing the Bahrain keeper into action. A very bright start from the men in white.
No changes for the Pearl Divers at the interval
Change at the break for the Green Falcons with Talal Al-Absi on for Mohamed Khbrani
Bahrain get the second half underway
All set for the second 45' in Doha.
All set for the second 45' in Doha.
The ever elegant Herve Renard (Saudi manger)
Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani attends the 24th Arabian Gulf Cup Final football match tonight.
Possession stats for the first half: Bahrain 43% - Saudi Arabia 57%
All to play for in the second 45.
The whistle sounds at the Abdullah Bin Khalifa and the sides go into the dressing room all square.
Abdullah Otayf getting treatment with play briefly held up.
3 mins of time to be added
Today's match official by the way is the fresh faced Swiss whistler Lionel Tscuhdi
Penalty call again for Saudi Arabia as Abdullah Al-Hamdan appears to be tripped by Al-Humaidan.. VAR being checked and the verdict back is NO penalty.
It's a real game of 'to and fro' with both sides enjoying spells of possession. Saudi Arabia do look the more threatening when they move to the opposition box. Bahrain's build-up play is excellent but just lacking playeras who can finish.
Good work from Kumail for Bahrain as he works the ball to the by-line and wins a corner. The Pearl Divers force a save from Saudi stopper who tips over from the corner.
Saudi Arabia pressing now and Sayed Jaffar called into action for Bahrain with the keeper alert to snuff out the danger.
Feras breaks into the Bahrain box but is well marshalled by the men in red and the ball runs out of play.
30' gone at the Abdullah Bin Khalifa and still 0-0. A crossbar and missed penalty for the Saudi side with Bahrain yet to really test Al Birakan in the Saudi goal.
Nabeel (Bahrain) second player in the book tonight for a blatant obstruction.
Possession stats after 27': Bahrain 40% - 60% Saudi Arabia
50-year-old Bahrain manager Helio Sousa looking on anxiously from the bench with his Saudi counterpart Herve Renard sporting his trademark open neck white shirt.
The earlier miss from the spot for the Saudi side! Al Faraj fauiled to observe the golden rule of "getting the head over the ball"!
and the Saudi XI
The Bahrain starting XI ahead of the final tonight
More Saudi pressure results in another corner for the Green Falcons which is easily dealt with by the men in red.
Bahrain certainly not daunted by the opposition and are very much matching their opposition so far in the opening phase of the final.
After the intensity of the opening five-ten minutes, the pace in the action drops slightly as both sides are guilty of reckless challenges which are imterrupting the flow of the match.
Good effort for Bahrain but Al-Humaidan fires straight at the Saudi keeper.
Asian champions Al-Hilal face Esperance of Tunisia next Saturday in Doha.
With all the Saudi players playing domestically, many of tonight's Saudi team will be back in action for Al-Hilal at the forthcoming Club World Cup in Doha,
Salman Al-Faraj blazes the ball high and wide. Terrible effort from the Al Hilal man
Given as Salem Al-Dawsari impeded in the box.
Big call for a Saudi Arabia penalty
Bright and open start with both sides enjoying spells of dominance but with the clear cut chance falling to the men from Saudi Arabia with Salem Al-Dawsari's drive off the bar.
Salem Al-Dawsari rifles a ferocious right footed drive off the bar ...so close for the Saudi side!
Sultan (SA) booked for a shirt pull
First corner of the night goes to the Green Falcons but easily dealt with by the men in red
Can Bahrain pull off a surprise in Doha this evening or will the Green Falcons add to their trio of Gulf Cup wins (1994, 2002, and 2004).
The 2019 Gulf Cup is underway as Saudi Arabia start the action.
All set in Doha... Bahrain in all red, Saudi Arabia in all white with green trim.
Finally (and apologies for the delay) ...both starting line-ups in English
Once again in Arabic (apoligies English readers), the teams ahead of the 2019 Gulf Final
Saudi fans also present in Doha as kick-off looms
Bahrain fans in the Abdullah Bin Khalifa stadium ahead of kick-off
AS English 2019 Gulf Cup prediction:
David: Bahrain 1-2 Saudi Arabia
Andy: Bahrain 0-2 Saudi Arabia
Paul: Bahrain 1-3 Saudi Arabia
We have the Bahrain XI in Arabic and hope to bring the English version to you ASAP
The "Pearl Divers" will be represented by a few hundred fans in Doha today with 12 planes of supporters making the short trip.
The Saudi "Green Falcons", meanwhile, will go into the game as slight favourites having lifted the Gulf Cup on three occasions (1994, 2002, and 2004) and reaching the final a further six times, including 2009, 2010 and 2014.
Bahrain and Saudi Arabia will go head to head for glory in the 2019 Gulf Cup final in Doha tonight with the "Pearl Divers" from Bahrain seeking their first triumph in the competition after finishing as runners-up in 1970, 1982, 1992 and 2003.
The action in Doha (Qatar) gets underway at 1900 (local time) which is 1700 CET.
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the 2019 Gulf Cup final as Bahrain face Saudi Arabia.