Saudi Arabia had a fast start and held on to a 3-2 victory over UAE Sunday night in their semifinal match and advance to the final of the 22nd Arabian Gulf Cup football touranament at the King Fahd International Stadium outside of Riyadh. The Kingdom national team plays Qatar, a 3-1 winner over Oman in the first semifinal earlier Sunday, in the championship match on Wednesday. UAE and Oman clash for third place on Tuesday.
Two goals scored within three minutes of each other from the 19th minute courtesy of Nasser Al-Shamrani and Nawwaf Al-Abid set the tone of the match for the Kingdom national team. At the turn it was 2-0 for the hosts, but the Emiratis struck back with a pair of goals from Ahmed Khalil,who scored in the 53rd and 79th minutes, to level the match at 2-2
The Saudis were not to be denied, however, as Salem Al-Dossari hit the match winner in the 86th minute to the delight of the overflow home crowd. Ali Asadallah Qambar scored two second half goals including a marker just before the first hour that gave Qataris the lead for good 2-1 after Hasan Al Haydos restored parity in the match. Qambar struck his second goal in the 67th minute to crown his heroic performance for the Qatari side. Earlier, Raed Ibrahim put Oman in the lead when his attempt found the net in the 24th minute before Haydos penalty goal in the 36th minute pulled one back for Qatar.