Kuwait beats UAE 3-2 in World Cup qualifier
Yousef Naser scored a brace to lead Kuwait to a nervy but crucial 3-2 away win over Group B rivals United Arab Emirates Friday.
Naser opened the scoring in the seventh minute and Bader Al Mutawaa made it 2-0 in the 51st, before Naser made the most of a defensive blunder to put Kuwait in complete control in the 65th.
A goal in the 84th by Ismail Al Hammadi and another by Ahmad Khalil in the 89th made it a nervy finish for the visitors, who had been dominant for most of the match.
South Korea and Lebanon are the other two teams in Group B, and Kuwait coach Goran Tufegdzic said the result would give his side confidence ahead of the home clash with powerhouse South Korea on Sept. 6.
''I am satisfied with the result,'' the Serbian coach said. ''We played a team whose players play in a professional league in the UAE and one that is very, very strong.
''Overall we had more chances to score and we created a lot, but that lapse in concentration in the last five minutes allowed them to score.''
It was not such a positive night for UAE's Slovenian coach Srecko Katanec, who was subjected to chants calling for his dismissal from the home crowd.
Kuwait took the lead early when Yousef Naser's shot came off defender Hamdan Al Kamali and beat goalkeeper Majed Naser. Katanec's side had a penalty plea turned when Ismail Al Hammadi went down in the box a minute later.
Kuwait could have doubled its lead in the 38th, but UAE defender Waleed Abbas cleared off the line with a spectacular overhead kick after Mutawaa lobbed Majed Naser following a pass from Fahad Al Enezi.
Kuwait started the second half like the first, confident and looking dangerous and they were rewarded in the 51st when Mutawaa's shot clipped the bottom of the crossbar before hitting the net.
Yousef Naser seemed to have wrapped up the win in the 65th when he slid in and scooped the ball over Majed Naser following a defensive error by defender Yousef Jaber.
Al Hammadi and Khalil's late goals provided consolation, but they will do little to ease the pressure on Katanec, who could now find it difficult to hold on to his job.