The FIFA Arab Cup kicked off over the weekend with the preliminary round taking place in Doha, Qatar involving some of the Arab World’s lesser known national sides competing to qualify for the main tournament. In an all-Africa clash, Sudan defeated Libya 1-0 at the Khalifa International Stadium courtesy of a 15th minute penalty kick goal scored by Al-Hilal Omdurman forward Mohamed Abdel Raman. A tackle by the Libyan defense led to a stray ball going into the penalty area, where Al Merrikh forward Saifeldin Bakhit was taken down upon collecting the loose ball. Libya pushed for an equalizer but hit the crossbar in the second half and a golden opportunity in the 71st minute was well saved by Sudanese keeper Ali Aboeshren.
Oman peppered the Somalian goal early and often in the first half as they defeated the Ocean Stars 2-1 at the Jassim bin Hamad Stadium on Sunday. A low effort from outside the box was saved right into the path of Muhsen Al Ghassani, who dispatched the rebound to open the scoring in the 12th minute. A 36th minute penalty kick from Salaah Al Yahyaei made it 2-0 for Oman by halftime. The Somalians put up a valiant effort in the second half with Italian-based player Abel Gigli drawing one back from a header in the 54th minute but could not find the equalizer on a good chance in stoppage time.
South Sudan were set to compete against Jordan on Monday, but numerous positive Covid-19 test results meant that the Bright Stars had to forfeit their match, sending Jordan through to the group stage.
Highlights from the Libya-Sudan and Oman-Somalia matches are in the links below.
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