Qatar defeats Bahrain 1-0 as FIFA Arab Cup gets under way

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Abulaziz Hatim scored with a perfect header to give Qatar a 1-0 win over Bahrain.

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Doha, Qatar Qatar started the FIFA Arab Cup tournament on Tuesday with a rare win against Bahrain by scoring a late goal against their Gulf rivals.

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In other matches, Tunisia drew 5–1 against Mauritania on the first day of competition, and Iraq and Oman drew 1–1.

After a grand opening ceremony at Al Bayt Stadium, Bahrain started out as the better club but Qatar came strong before the end of the first half.

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In Bahrain’s start, Abdulwahab Al-Maloud missed a goal after taking the ball to wide.

Qatar’s Mohamed Wad had a dangerous chance at the 18-minute mark, hitting the ball in the top half of the goal, but Bahrain’s keeper Syed Mohamed Abbas secured a lunge with his right hand.

In the 57th minute, Abulaziz Hatim fired a free kick at the away post that Ahmed Fati headed for the pitch and the ball bounced wide. Qatar continued to control the game as Ali Moez Ali delivered a fine pass from his head just centimeters wide of goal to Akram Afif in the 64th minute.

Qatar finally broke in the 68th minute and Hatim directed a perfect header from the post to steer the defending Asian Cup champions to victory.

Qatar, the host of the FIFI World Cup 2022, had not beaten Bahrain since a friendly in 2004. Group A consists of Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and four-time champions Iraq.

Tunisia 5 Mauritania 1

Tunisia defeated Mauritania 5–1 at the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium. Cefeddin Jaziri scored two goals, Firas Bellarabi added a brace, and Yusuf Masakani scored on a late strike in the second half.

Mauritania’s lone goal was scored by Moulay Bessam, who brought it home on a penalty kick.

The Tunisian team secured its first three points in Group B, which also includes the United Arab Emirates and Syria.

Iraq 1 Oman 1

Iraq drew a 1-1 draw with a late goal in a thrilling match against Oman at the Al Janub Stadium on Tuesday.

Saleh Al-Yehani scored for Oman in the 78th minute. Following the VAR decision, Hasan Abdulkarim answered on a penalty kick for Iraq in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

The United Arab Emirates will face Syria in the final match of the day.

The FIFA Arab Cup is hosted by Qatar until 18 December with the participation of 16 teams.

Iraq, the most successful team in the history of the competition, has four titles, followed by Saudi Arabia with two. Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia have won the tournament once each.

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