The UAE threw away a two-goal lead to share the points with Kuwait in their Gulf Cup clash overnight.
The Whites jumped to a quick 2-0 lead thanks to two goals from Ali Ahmed Mabkhout inside the first 35 minutes, both beautifully set-up by star playmaker Omar Abdulrahman.
Yet no sooner had UAE fans stopped celebrating than Kuwait hit back and in devastating fashion, with Bader Al Mutawa the chief destroyer.
Yousef Al Sulaiman got on the end of Al Mutawa’s inch perfect cross to head home and pull one back for Kuwait in the 37th minute, and just two minutes later Al Mutawa smashed home a cracking drive from the edge of the box to draw Al-Azraq level.
While they’ll be disappointed with blowing a 2-0 lead, Mahdi Ali’s side can take some comfort from their improved performance and the form of Abdulrahman, returning from a long injury lay off. The Al Ain midfielder was involved in all of the UAE’s best attacking moments and demonstrated why he is one of the most exciting players on the continent.
The night’s other match was yet another draw as Iraq and Oman played out a 1-1 stalemate.
Yasser Kasim gave Iraq the lead in the 14th minute when his volleyed effort smashed into the turf and ballooned over the Omani defence after Ali Al Habsi could only push his save back towards the penalty spot.
It was from the same penalty spot that Oman drew level early in the second half after the referee adjudged Ali Adnan to have handled in the box from Saad Suhail’s cross. Ahmed Kano stepped up and while Jalal Hassan Hachim guessed the right way his spot kick was too good and Oman were back on level terms.
With one match remaining, Kuwait sit top of Group B on four points, ahead of UAE and Oman, both on two points.