12/2/2019 2:51:44 AM

Everything to play for in Group B finale

Everything to play for in Group B finale

Doha, Qatar: Anything can happen.

Football's uncertainty is shining in all its glory in the Group B of the Gulf Cup, where Oman, the leaders and reigning champions take on Saudi Arabia and Bahrain clash with Kuwait on Monday.

Oman leads the group with four points with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait on three and Bahrain on one.

Such is the fierce competition in the group, that Oman can still go out and Bahrain, whose only return is a draw against Erwin Koeman's side, can still qualify.

And three teams, barring Bahrain, know that a victory can ensure them progress.

Saudi Arabia bounced back after their defeat to Kuwait with a victory against Bahrain and coach Herve Renard  was confident about their chances.

“We do not fear any team," said the Frenchman. "We respect all teams. In the current situation, Oman are top of our group and a draw is enough for them, and because of that, the task is not easy, and we have to play as we played against Bahrain. It is simple; we have to win.”

“Only winning is the first choice. I lost in the first meeting against Kuwait, but we are back and we have won against Bahrain. I hope this will be repeated in the next game.”

Oman, at least on paper, have the easiest task for they just need a draw.

But coach Koeman knows its easier said than done, especially they are playing Saudi Arabia, one of the powerhouses of Asian football.

 Koeman said they would treat Saudi as any other opponents.

“We have only one day to play and there is no special preparation for this game,” he said at the pre-match press conference.

“We know the encounters are like these since the moment we participated in this tournament.

“We did some light exercises in the hotel’s gym because the players need it, and we will assess their condition in terms of readiness. We have 23 players to face the best opponent in the tournament.”

Kuwait can book a semis berth with a victory while Bahrain need a big win combined with Saudi Arabia's defeat to have any chance of qualifying.

Kuwait can progress with just a draw if Saudi Arabia fail to beat Oman.

“Bahrain are a strong team, but I have confidence in the players and the ability,” said Kuwait coach Thamer Enad. “We wish we can make our fans happy again after the loss against Oman.”  

Kuwait started strongly by beating Saudi Arabia, but made too many defensive mistakes to go down to Oman.  

“I admit we did not show the required level and made many mistakes at the beginning of the game, and we will find solutions to that.”

He would need quick solutions because Bahrain could prove to be tricky opponents as Oman found out.

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