Qatar’s hopes of reaching the quarterfinal round were shattered as the United Arab Emirates came from behind to defeat them 2 - 1.
|The UAE's Saeed Alkas (right) vies with Qatar's Talal|
For 42 first-half minutes, the dream was still alive for Qatar who took the lead from Uruguay-born striker Sebastian Quintana’s penalty spot goal.
Saeed Alkas spoiled the party by nodding in an equalizer fourteen minutes after the break, before Faisal Khalil sank Dzemaludin Musovic’s side with another header in the dying minutes.
The Gulf Cup holders deserved their first victory in this year’s competition; it was Qatar who were left to rue what might have been after a result that means Viet Nam advance to the quarterfinals.
The UAE dominated early possession while Qatar’s Majdi Siddiq saw his rising effort from the edge of the area turned over the crossbar from Waleed Salem.
But Quintana, who troubled UAE’s defense with his strong run, earned Qatar a crucial goal from the penalty spot three minutes before the break after he was fowled by defender Abdulrahman.
After the interval, Qatar’s Coach Musovic opted for a defensive formation with only Quintana in the frontline, waiting for long balls, a tactic that largely paid off.
|Vietnamese fans celebrate on Ho Chi Minh City's streets after the UAE beat Qatar, helping their team move to the quarter-finals (Photo: H.U.)|
Alkas put the Gulf Cup holders’ level in the 59th minute when he headed a perfect cross from Mubarak past diving goalkeeper Saqr, sending the Vietnamese capacity crowd inside the 7th Military Zone Stadium into raptures.
A shocking Qatar fought back strongly but failed to break the UAE defense.
They even took a blow in stoppage time when Matar’s fierce free-kick from outside the box was parried by keeper Saqr, luckily the rebound found Khalil, whose simple close range header snatched the team their three point victory.