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Oman knocks out Iraq
By Abdullah Al-Hariri Saudi Gazette
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 08 - 01 - 2009

AFC Asian Cup champion Iraq became the first team to be knocked out of the 19th Gulf Cup tournament after losing 4-0 to Oman in Muscat, Wednesday.
The defeat killed Iraq's hopes in the tournament as the team stays in the bottom of Group A without wins while the host team Oman tops the group with four points.
Kuwait, which beat Bahrain 1-0 in the other match played on Wednesday, is second with four points because of its goal average.
Hassan Rabia was the hero for Oman at Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex after he completed his hat rick before Imad Al-Hawsani netted one goal for Oman.
The home side began the match in style looking to secure a win as the team had split points with Kuwait after their opener.
Al-Hawsani had the first threat into the game as he headed the ball after five minutes to pass near the right post of Iraq goalkeeper.
After two near misses by Al-Hawsani, Hassan Rabia put Oman ahead in the 25th minute when he shot Fawzi Basher's header into the rival's goal.
Cyprus's Anorthosis playmaker Hawar Mulla Mohammed lost a golden opportunity to equalize four minutes later when Oman's English Premier League goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi denied him from the spot.
Al-Habsi was alert again in the 39th minute when he saved Mahdi Karem's shot from outside the box.
As Iraq pushed forward looking for a goal its defender Jassem Ghoam was sent off for an offensive tackle against Al-Hawsani, who doubled his side's lead in the 51st minute.
Rabia made matter worse for Iraq when he netted the third goal for Oman in the 65th minute with a long-range shot.
The drama was not over yet and Rabia added his third and the fourth goal for Oman 10 minutes from time.
The other match at the same avenue saw nine-time winner Kuwait sideline Bahrain with a 1-0 win.
Defender Mesaed Nada scored the only goal of the game when he put a free kick into the left side of Bahrain's goalkeeper in the 28th minute.
The Bahrainis, who beat Iraq 3-1 last Sunday, need to win their game against Oman on Saturday to make it to the quarterfinals while Kuwait will be taking on Iraq with the same aim in mind.
On Thursday, Saudi Arabia plays Yemen while Qatar faces defending champion the UAE. __


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