Oman street parties celebrate win over Bahrain
January 2, 2018 | 10:10 PM
by Gautam Viswanathan, [email protected]

Muscat: Omanis took to the streets on Tuesday evening to celebrate their team’s victory over Bahrain in the semi-finals of the 2017 Arab Gulf Cup of Nations.

A 1-0 win over Bahrain, courtesy of a Majid Abdul Rahman own goal midway through the first half, saw Oman clinch their first place in the tournament final since 2009, when they won the Gulf Cup on home soil.

Across many of Muscat’s more popular streets, a cavalcade of cars and 4x4s drove through the night in happy celebration. As revellers blew their horns and waved their flags and scarves excitedly in the chilly Muscat breeze, and lustily shouted slogans in praise of the national team and their favourite players, there is much optimism at the fact that Oman could actually go all the way and win the Gulf Cup once again.

Oman have beaten many of the tournament favourites to get this far: a 1-0 win over Kuwait and 2-0 defeat of Saudi Arabia saw them top the group stages, after a 1-0 defeat to the United Arab Emirates in their opening game.

After the Sultanate’s defeat of Bahrain, many of the Oman fans who have travelled to Kuwait City on special flights chartered by Oman’s Royal Air Force along with the Oman Football Association and the Ministry of Sports Affairs, as well as SalamAir and national carrier Oman Air, will now look forward to staying there and supporting their team in the final.

The final of the 23rd Arab Gulf Cup of Nations takes place on Friday evening, at the Jaber Al Ahmad International Stadium in Kuwait City.

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