Yemen keep dream alive with goalless Qatar draw

National Yemen

Riyadh: Yemen held Qatar to a goalless draw in their second match in Group A of the Gulf Cup at the King Fahd International Stadium on Sunday.

It was Al Yemen A’Sa’eed’s second goalless draw in the group after similarly frustrating Bahrain in their opening game on Thursday, to record their first point in the competition since 2007.

They are still in search of their first win in the tournament, and now face hosts Saudi Arabia on Wednesday to determine if they can progress from the group backed by their tireless and vocal support who have backed them in their thousands here in Riyadh.

It would be a historic achievement for the underdogs, who are ranked 70 to 90 positions lower than their group opponents.

Yemen’s Abdul Al Matari came closest on the half hour mark after shooting just wide of the post from a diagonal through ball. Qatar’s full-back lost the ball in the middle of pitch allowing a midfielder to pick out Al Mutari on a bursting run into the box, but his effort trickled painstakingly wide.

Qatar’s first chance came 20 minutes before time when Hassan Khalid rounded the defence and unleashed a shot toward the bottom right corner, but Yemen keeper Mohammad Ayash tipped it wide at the post.

The Maroons increased their urgency toward the end but Meshael Abdullah headed over from Esmail Mohammad’s cross before Mohammad struck straight at the keeper after a cross was teed up for him in the box, enabling Yemen to hold on for the draw.