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Qatar, the surprise leaders of the 15th Gulf Cup, meet defending champions Kuwait tonight in a crucial match.

The match means a great deal to Qatar whose win will put them one point away from winning the title for the second time in their history.

Qatar have collected nine points from their first three matches against Bahrain, the UAE and Oman. They showed great team work and good organisation in addition to solid defence and fast counter attacks that wreaked havoc on all opposing defenders.

The team scored five goals while conceding a single one.

Frenchman Pierre Luchanter has transformed the team regarded before kick off as an outsider to become a fighting machine with excellent understanding of their strategy of play and mutual cooperation and coordination in the players moves all over the field with and without the ball.

The new faces introduced by Luchanter have proved their capabilities and paid for the faith of their coach on them replacing more experienced and famous players.

The new young playes added more speed and enthusiasm to the team performance and have blended well with their older colleagues like Mohammed Salim Al Enazy and Jaffal Rashid who lend experience to the youngsters on the field and direct them during the matches.

Al Enazy, who had been subject to tight marking, had transformed himself to a provider. Al Enazy has created goals for his colleagues though he did not score a single goal. Yet, he remains the most important and dangerous striker in the team with his aerial abilities.

Adil Jaddoua, Yasir Nazmi, Jaffal Rashid, Sayed Ali Basheer and Jasim Al Tamimi have scored Qatar's five goals which proves that all players from defence, midfield or attack can score goals which increases the strength of the team.

The players of Qatar are in a high morale. Though they lead the pack, players are kept away from the pressures of bagging the title. The Qatar officials have affirmed that they are not putting pressure on players to win the title.

The aim of Qatar FA is to build an able team for the future. But it is expected that with only a few matches remaining, pressures will pile upon the team.

They need to win today. Waiting for Saudi Arabia to lose any point in order to emerge champions of the 15th Gulf Cup even before playing their last match against hosts and contenders Saudi Arabia on January 30.

Kuwait, though one of the favourites to defend the title, before the start of the competition, have disappointed their supporters greatly with their poor performances that earned them only two points from three matches. They are fifth in the standings, only above Bahrain, with a single point.

Kuwait's German coach Berti Vogts, has been under fire since the team lost their second match in the tournament against Oman 1-3 following a disastrous performance that led to a historic Oman victory.

Kuwait have two best strikers in Jasim Al Huwaidi and Bashar Abdullah. Kuwait, however, managed to score only two goals, both by Al Huwaidi. Bashar, who was accused by Vogts of squandering a sitter against Oman that led to the defeat, will miss today's match after being sent off against Bahrain in their last match which will make things more easier for the Qatar defenders.

Luchanter knows everything about both strikers and their defender colleague Jamal Mubark as all three players are playing in Doha as professionals with Al Rayyan Club.

Kuwait have talented young players like Nasir Al Othman, Hamad Al Tayyar, Faraj Laheeb (expected to replace Bashar today) and others who are regarded as a credit to any other team.

But the team are in a low morale following their bad results and their conflict with their coach who accuses them every time the team lose a point.

The two teams have met 14 times before. Kuwait won 10 matches scoring 33 goals while Qatar won three and drew once and scored 16 goals.
 

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Qatar won again 1-0 :eek: Jafal Rashid from a great free-kick. They have now 12 points from a possible 12 :cool: If Saudi loses or draw against Oman tomorrow, then Qatar will be the tournament winners. If Saudi wins, then it will come down to the last match :)

Qatar's Goal
 

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Match Report

Qatar needed a stupendous free-kick from inspirational skipper Jaffal Rashed, midway through the second half, to floor Kuwait 1-0, and claim that could prove their most precious win in the 15th Gulf Cup held in Riyadh, their fourth victory in a row.

The side's latest achievement shot them five-point clear of hosts Saudi Arabia who are due to meet Oman on Sunday. A likely win for the home side will send the fate of the competition down to the wire, for a titanic clash between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, already scheduled as the last fixture, on Wednesday.

Qatar, the winners of the trophy once in 1992, had to cope with an early severe blow when top marksman Mohamed Salem Al-Enazi was stretched off the pitch after 22 minute for a recurrent knee injury, as the Kuwaitis looked the most committed and composed side in the opening 20 minutes, without really threatening the vigilance of keeper Hussein Al-Rumayhi as the first half ended goalless.

However, things got completely different with French manager Pierre Lechantre, taking charge of Qatar only in November, fielded midfield schemer Saad Sattam Al-Shemmari, quite a masterstroke, as his side dictated the game to their Kuwaiti opponents.

Indeed, it was Al-Shemmari's brilliant solo run at the left flank that ended with him being floored, two minutes after taking on the pitch, only for skipper Jaffal Rashed to rifle home a fabulous 25-yard curler in the top right corner of the Kuwaiti goal, leaving keeper Nawwaf Al-Khalidi completely stranded.

Qatar had the luxury of missing two clear-cut openers in the final 6 minutes of a thrilling second half, both squandered by versatile full-back Dahi Al-Noubi, firing the ball beyond the opposite goal with only the keeper at his mercy, as Kuwait, reigning champs and the main disappointment of the competition, leave the competition in complete disarray, ahead of a meaningless confrontation against the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday.
 

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I was hoping that Kuwait can save face in this game. Apparently, they are a hopeless case. On the other hand, if we Saudis want to win this cup we should do it on our own and not expect any one to do the work for us (for a change):D :D
 

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what a great team q8:D :D
jassim al howaydee ayshy
and more players
 
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