UAE into Under 23 Gulf Cup final after beating Qatar

A 2-0 win for Mahdi Ali's defending champions sets up final showdown with Oman.

Amith Passela

UAE 2 Qatar - 0

The UAE are one step away from defending their Under 23 Gulf Cup title after a clinical 2-0 victory over hosts Qatar on Friday night put them into Sunday's final.

Playing on the indoor pitch at the Aspire Academy in Doha, Mohammed Ali Gharib put the UAE ahead in the semi-final just past the hour and substitute Ahmed Ali doubled the lead 10 minutes later.

The UAE had beaten Qatar 2-0 in a friendly ahead of the championship and won 3-1 in the same stage of the competition a years ago.

Mahdi Ali's side had other chances too, with a rocket from Rashid Essa pushed over the crossbar by Qatar keeper Al Sheeb 10 minutes into the second half and Mohamed Fawzi's effort from close range well saved on 65 minutes.

The UAE will now face Oman who had earlier stunned Saudi Arabia - who had yet to concede a goal in the tournament - with a 4-3 win to take their place in the final.

Published: August 20, 2011 04:00 AM