By Omolagba Oluwayemi
There was a feast for the eyes as the newly inaugurated Al Bayt Stadium staged a stunning opening ceremony of the first FIFA Arab Cup.
In a show befitting the historic occasion, fans were treated to a jaw-dropping pyrotechnics display along with some beautiful choreography and performances that featured traditional themes, scenes and costumes from the Arab region.
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The stadium itself – the unique architecture of which is inspired by bayt al sha’ar, tents historically used by nomadic peoples in Qatar and the Gulf region – is a true sight to behold. All eight of Qatar’s FIFA World Cup 2022™ arenas have now been completed, and after tonight only Lusail Stadium – the venue for next year’s FIFA World Cup Final – is still to be unveiled to the public.
The opening ceremony took place prior to the game between host Qatar and Bahrain.
Qatar opened their FIFA Arab Cup campaign with a narrow 1-0 win over its Gulf rivals, Bahrain.
Hosts of the FIFA World Cup 2022, Qatar had not beat Bahrain since a friendly in 2004.
Following the mouthwatering opening ceremony at the Al Bayt Stadium, Bahrain started as the better side but Qatar came on strong before the end of the scoreless first half.
Early on, Bahrain’s Abdulwahab al-Malood narrowly missed a goal after he headed the ball just wide.
Qatar’s Mohammed Waad had a dangerous chance at the 18-minute mark with a strike to the top half of the goal, but Bahrain keeper Sayed Mohamed Abbas lunged with his right hand and deflected it to safety.
Qatar finally broke through in the 69th minute when Hatem launched a perfect header off the post and in to give the reigning Asian Cup champions the victory.
In late kickoff match, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) defeated Syria 2-1
United Arab Emirates dominated possession from the start of the match and held on to win 2-1 over Syria.
At the 24th minute, Caio Canedo finished off a series of quick passes and deftly headed a cross into the corner passed Syrian keeper Ibrahim Alma.
UAE’s Ali Saleh struck a first-timer six minutes later into the bottom of the right corner to make it 2-0.
But Syria fought back late in the first half at Doha’s Stadium 974. Mohammed Osman hit the ball with strength from distance, forcing UAE keeper Ali Khasif to lunge and punch it just over the crossbar.
At the 60th minute, Syria broke through after a poor back pass by Canedo found its way to Ward Al Salama who booted a strike past a helpless Khasif.
The FIFA Arab Cup is hosted by Qatar until December 18 with the participation of 16 teams.
Iraq, the most successful team in the history of the competition, has four titles followed by Saudi Arabia with two. Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia each have won the tournament once.
The FIFA Arab Cup is hosted by Qatar until December 18 with the participation of 16 teams.Iraq, the most successful team in the history of the competition, has four titles followed by Saudi Arabia with two. Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia each have won the tournament once.
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