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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 19 November 2018

Gulf Cup: six years of separation for UAE since 2007 triumph

As the UAE set out in Bahrain looking for a repeat of the title under Bruno Metsu, a look at their run in the tournament thus far.
Ismail Matar, centre, top-scored in the 2007 edition and provided the matchwinner, too, in the final.
Ismail Matar, centre, top-scored in the 2007 edition and provided the matchwinner, too, in the final.

1970 in Bahrain

Did not participate as the country came into being a year later

1972 in Saudi Arabia

Coach: Mohammed Sheita

The UAE finished third in their group, behind Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Starting their campaign with a 1-0 win over Qatar, they lost 4-0 to the Saudis, 7-0 to Kuwait and 2-0 to Bahrain.

1974 in Kuwait

Coach: Mohammed Sheita

The UAE finished fourth after losing 3-0 on penalties to Qatar in the third-place play-off. They were beaten 6-0 earlier in the semi-finals by the eventual champions Kuwait. In the group matches, they defeated Bahrain 4-0 and lost 2-0 to Saudi Arabia.

1976 in Qatar

Coach: Dimitri Tadic

The UAE finished sixth in the seven-team competition, failing to win any of their six games. They lost to Bahrain (3-2), Saudi Arabia (2-0), Qatar (3-1) and Iraq (4-0), and shared the points with Kuwait (0-0) and Oman (1-1).

1979 in Iraq

Coach: Don Revie

The Whites once against finished sixth in the group stages, but did manage a win this time: 4-0 over Oman. They lost to Saudi Arabia (2-1), Bahrain (3-0), Qatar (1-0), Kuwait (7-0) and Iraq (5-0).

1982 in the UAE

Coach: Heshmat Mohajerani

Hosting the tournament for the first time, the UAE finished third behind Kuwait and Bahrain. They beat Qatar (1-0) in the opening game and then stunned Saudi Arabia by beating them 1-0, but defeats to Kuwait (2-0) and Bahrain (3-2) scuppered their chances. They finished with victories over Iraq (1-0) and Oman (3-1).

1984 in Oman

Coach: Heshmat Mohajerani

The Emirates finished fourth behind Iraq, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. They beat Kuwait (2-0) and Qatar (1-0), drew with Iraq (0-0), Bahrain (1-1) and Oman (1-1), and lost to Saudi Arabia (2-0).

1986 in Bahrain

Coach: Carlos Alberto Parreira

The UAE were the runners-up behind Kuwait while Fahad Khamis was the top-scorer in the tournament with six goals. Starting with a 2-2 draw with Iraq, the Whites lost to Kuwait (1-0), but bounced back to beat Oman (1-0), Saudi Arabia (2-0) and Bahrain (3-0) before losing 3-2 to Qatar.

1988 in Saudi Arabia

Coach: Carlos Alberto Parreira

Parreira's squad, which later qualified for the 1990 World Cup, finished runners-up again, this time behind Iraq. They started with wins over Bahrain (2-0) and Kuwait (1-0), but a loss to Qatar (2-1) and draws against Iraq (0-0) and Saudi Arabia (2-2) dented their title hopes.

1990 in Kuwait

Coach: Bernhard Blaut

Just a few months before their World Cup debut, the UAE finished bottom of the five-team tournament, which was marred by the withdrawal of Saudi Arabia and later Iraq. The UAE drew with Oman (1-1) and Qatar (0-0), and lost to Bahrain (1-0) and Kuwait (6-1).

1992 in Qatar

Coach: Antoni Piechniczek

Saudi Arabia were back, but Iraq were barred following their invasion of Kuwait the previous year. The UAE finished fourth, level on six points with Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, but with a poorer goal-difference. Qatar took the title with eight points.

1994 in the UAE

Coach: Antoni Piechniczek

The UAE just missed out on the title, finishing one point behind the champions Saudi Arabia. They went unbeaten through the tournament, but they had one more draw than the Saudis (1-1 v Saudi Arabia and 0-0 v Bahrain) and that decided the title.

1996 in Oman

Coach: Tomislav Ivic

Kuwait clinched their eighth Gulf title, while the UAE finished fourth behind Qatar and Saudi Arabia. They had one win (2-1 over Kuwait) and one loss (1-0 against Qatar), and drew the other three matches.

1998 in Bahrain

Coach: Carlos Queiroz

The UAE finished third, behind Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, with victories over Bahrain (1-0) and Oman (3-2), and a draw against Qatar. They lost to Kuwait (4-1) and Saudi Arabia (1-0)

2002 in Saudi Arabia

Coach: Jo Bonfrere

The UAE managed just one win from their five matches, finishing at the bottom of the six-team tournament. They lost all the other matches as the hosts cruised to the title.

2003 in Kuwait

Coach: Roy Hodgson

Yemen made their first appearance in the GCC championship and finished at the bottom. The UAE managed fifth, one spot above the hosts, with wins over Kuwait (2-0) and Yemen (3-0).

2004 in Qatar

Coach: Aad De Mos

Iraq were back in the competition after missing the last six, but finished at the bottom of Group A. The UAE were third in that group, with draws against Qatar (2-2) and Iraq (1-1), and a loss to Oman (2-1). The top two teams from their group eventually contested the final, with Qatar defeating Oman on penalties.

2007 in the UAE

Coach: Bruno Metsu

Starting the tournament with a 2-1 defeat against Oman, the UAE beat the same opponent in the final to win their first international title. Ismail Matar scored the lone goal in the final to finish as the top scorer of the tournament with five goals.

2009 in Oman

Coach: Dominique Bathenay

Coming to the tournament as the defending champions, the UAE started promisingly with a 3-1 win over Yemen. But they were held to a scoreless draw by Qatar and failed to make it beyond the group stages following a 3-0 loss to Saudi Arabia.

2010 in Yemen

Coach: Srecko Katanec

The UAE topped their group with a win over Bahrain (3-1) and draws against Iraq (1-1) and Oman (0-0). In the semis, they were edged out 1-0 by Saudi Arabia with Ahmed Abbas breaking the deadlock in the 55th minute.

 

arizvi@thenational.ae