Manama: Qatar contained Oman’s threat and hit them on the counter to win their second Group A match 2-1 at Bahrain’s National Stadium on Tuesday.
A penalty just before the hour mark by Khalfan Ebrahim was cancelled out by Hussain Al Hadri, only for Qatar to break Omani hearts against the run of play with a late tap-in from Mohammad Al Sayed. The result leaves Oman’s future in the Gulf Cup out of their hands — they need to beat UAE in their final game on Friday and hope other results go their way.
Oman started brightly but couldn’t convert their chances in the first half. Fawzi Basheer squandered an early opportunity from a tight angle deep inside the area within the first five minutes, before Eid Al Farsi saw his volley tipped over the crossbar by Qatar keeper Qasem Abdulhamad.
Abdul Mubarak had a shot deflected wide for a corner, but by far his best chance came just before the interval, when a powerful shot from inside the area was palmed agonisingly wide of the post.
Qatar only really came out of their half briefly after 20 minutes, never really threatening Oman keeper Mazin Al Kasbi and rarely even breaching his area.
Oman had a goal ruled out for offside early in the second half, with Mubarak nodding in from a free-kick. But he very nearly made up for it moments later, hitting straight at the keeper from a run into the box.
In a cruel twist of fate, Qatar, who hadn’t had a shot on goal, won a penalty when Mohammad Al Musalami handled before colliding with Khalfan Ebrahim, who converted the spot-kick.
Oman, feeling hard done by, then had a penalty appeal on Basheer ignored and a Mubarak one-on-one with the keeper ruled offside. But justice was restored on 70 minutes, when Hussain Al Hadri equalised from the spot after Marcone Amaral was adjudged to have brought down Juma Al Maashari.
The game became more open in the final 10 minutes, but this only aided Qatar, who struck late from a cross tapped in by Al Sayed.