x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

UAE top group after draw with Kuwait

Faisal Khalil's lead was cancelled out but the 1-1 draw in the under 23 Gulf Cup was enough to head the group and avoid in-form Oman.

Faisal Khalil, centre,  No 11, celebrates with his teammates after scoring the UAE's goal against Kuwait yesterday.
Faisal Khalil, centre, No 11, celebrates with his teammates after scoring the UAE's goal against Kuwait yesterday.

The UAE topped their group to avoid the in-form team Oman in the semi-finals after a 1-1 result with Kuwait in the under 23 Gulf Cup today at the Aspire Academy Stadium in Doha, Qatar. Faisal Khalil put the UAE ahead with a stunning header in the 36th minute, timing his run to perfection to connect powerfully a free kick from Amer Abdulrahman. They could have doubled the lead had Ali Mabkhout's effort not crashed against the post two minutes into the second half. Kuwait cancelled the lead three minutes later through Yousef Nasser, who completed a fine move by heading a cross from the left flank.

The equaliser booked Kuwait's their place in the last four, ahead of Saudi Arabia, the defending champions. UAE topped group A on four points followed by Kuwait (2) and Saudi Arabia (1). Oman, having won both their games head Group A. They will be joined by either Bahrain or Qatar, who play later in the night. apassela@thenational.ae