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Soccer-Afif sends Qatar to Gulf Cup semi-finals

Reuters | Dubai | Updated: 03-12-2019 07:11 IST | Created: 03-12-2019 07:08 IST
Soccer-Afif sends Qatar to Gulf Cup semi-finals
Image Credit: pixabay

Akram Afif scored twice to give Qatar a 4-2 win over Group A rivals United Arab Emirates and a place in the Arabian Gulf Cup semi-finals on Monday.

Afif, named Asian Player of the Year earlier in the day, put the home side ahead after 20 minutes and the Al-Sadd forward doubled the lead in the 28th minute from a penalty awarded after a long review by the video assistant referee (VAR). Ali Mabkhout pulled one back for the UAE in the 33rd minute from the penalty spot but Hassan Al-Haidoos made it 3-1 for the Asian champions eight minutes after half time.

Mabkhout scored again for the UAE, his fifth goal in three games, after 77 minutes but Boualem Khoukhi put the result beyond doubt when he headed Qatar's fourth in stoppage time. Iraq finished top of the group with seven points, one ahead of Qatar, after their 0-0 draw with Yemen, while the UAE have three points in third.

In Group B, Saudi Arabia earned a 3-1 victory over holders Oman thanks to Hattan Bahebri's double to set up a semi-final clash with World Cup 2022 hosts Qatar. The Saudis topped the group on six points, two ahead of Bahrain, who beat Kuwait 4-2 after a late brace from substitute Thiago Augusto to advance ahead of Oman on goal difference.

Bahrain will play Iraq for a place in the final.


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