January 3 – In a repeat of the final a decade ago and of this year’s Group A opener, the United Arab Emirates and Oman will meet in the climax of the 23rd Gulf Cup on Friday in Kuwait after both squeezed through in their respective semi-finals.
Oman defeated Bahrain 1-0 whilst the UAE, bidding for a third title following their 2007 and 2013 triumphs, edged 4-2 Iraq on penalties following 0-0 draw after extra time.
UAE’s progression in Kuwait has been achieved despite scoring only one goal in the competition – and that was a penalty in the 1-0 win over Oman. The secret to the UAE’s defensive success is the 3-4-2-1 formation employed by recently appointed Italian coach Alberto Zaccheroni
Oman’s win over Bahrain courtesy of a first half own goal marks their first appearance in the final since their 2009 victory.
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