Oman and Iraq share the spoils in Arabian Gulf Cup opener

Sports Friday 06/January/2023 22:36 PM
By: Times News Service
Oman and Iraq share the spoils in Arabian Gulf Cup opener

MUSCAT- Two-time champions Oman shared the spoils with hosts Iraq to kick-start the 25th Arabian Gulf Cup at the Basra International Stadium on Friday night.

Both the teams were locked in a goalless stalemate to pick up a point each in a Group A match. 

While Iraq had a couple of goal-scoring chances, Oman, coached by Croatian Branko Ivankovic, also had a fair share of opportunities. Iraq's best chance came in the 88th minute when Dhurghan's free kick from top of the box hit the woodwork and went wide.

Both the teams were left to rue the chances but would be satisfied to earn a point each that includes Yemen and fancied Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia had a great run at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and shocked the footballing world when they upset eventual World Cup champions Argentina in the group stage.

Oman will next meet Yemen on January 9 before rounding off the group engagements with a match against the Saudis on January 12.

Group B includes Asian champions and World Cup 2022 hosts Qatar, defending champions Bahrain, UAE, and 10-time champions Kuwait.

Oman won their maiden Gulf Cup title in Muscat during the 19th edition hosted in January 2009 under Frenchman Claude Le Roy.

The second title came during the 23rd edition hosted by Kuwait in 2017. Dutchman Pim Verbeek’s Red Warriors won against the UAE in the final. Verbeek passed away in 2019.