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'Blockade Derby': Qatar beat UAE in crunch Gulf Cup match Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

'Blockade Derby': Qatar beat UAE in crunch Gulf Cup match

Qatar are through to the semi-finals [Getty]

Date of publication: 2 December, 2019

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The match took place after a two-year blockade on Qatar by the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
Qatar beat the UAE in a crunch football match in Doha on Monday - dubbed the "Blockade Derby" - which sees the hosts go through to the semi-final of the Gulf Cup.

A packed home crowd cheered on Qatar, as they put four goals past the visitors and conceded two, in a vital win which puts them through the group stages of the pan-Gulf tournament.

Qatari strikes Akram Afif scored two goals in the match, having won Asian Player of the Year earlier in the day. Qatari captain Hassan Al-Haydos and Bualem Khoukhi  scored the other two - the last goal in the final minute of the game.

The football championship has already seen Abu Dhabi partially break its political embargo on Doha.
The UAE is one of the four coutries - including Saudi, Bahraini and Egypt - that enacted an blockade on Qatar overnight in June 2017, following regional differences.

The two other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) - Oman and Kuwait - both remained neutral in the crisis, but both have to some degree tried to end the rift.

Late last month, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain agreed to take part in the football tournament in Doha - which includes the six GCC members plus Iraq and Yemen - to the surprise of many commentators.

Although Saudi Arabia flew direct to Doha - thus breaking their own blockade on Qatar - the UAE opted for an indirect route, via Kuwait.

At the AFC Asian Cup held in the UAE earlier this year, the semi-final between the Emirates and Qatar saw the visiting team pelted with shoes and booed.

Qatar went on to lift the Asian Cup, but UAE officials largely boycotted the winning team.

The Gulf crisis also prevented Qatari fans from watching their team due to a travel ban by the UAE.

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