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Mon 9 Dec 2019 08:55 AM

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Bahrain clinch first ever Gulf Cup with win over Saudi Arabia

Bahrain's victory saw King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa declare Monday a holiday in the kingdom in recognition of the historic achievement

Bahrain clinch first ever Gulf Cup with win over Saudi Arabia
Bahrain's players celebrate after winning the 24th Arabian Gulf Cup Final football match between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia at the Khalifa International Stadium in Qatar. Photo KARIM JAAFARAFP via Getty Images.

Bahrain pulled off a shock in the final of the Gulf Cup on Sunday with victory over Saudi Arabia.

In a thrilling match, Mohamed Al Romaihi’s second half strike was all that separated the two sides at the final whistle as the Pearldivers secured their first ever Gulf Cup title.

Bahrain's victory saw King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa declare Monday a holiday in the kingdom in recognition of the historic achievement.

Following a semi-final win over hosts Qatar, Saudi started the match the brighter and hit the post in the opening few minutes courtesy of a curling effort from Al Hilal winger Salem Al-Dawsari.

The Green Falcons then had a glorious chance to open the scoring when Al-Dawsari was pulled down inside the area by Bahrain midfielder Mahdi Al-Humaidan. However, Salman Al-Faraj saw his spot kick clip the woodwork and sail wide.

Saudi thought they had a second penalty as the match approached half-time when Abdullah Al-Hamdan was hauled down in the box. But appeals were waved away after a quick VAR review.

As the game wore on Bahrain grew in confidence and the introduction of Brazilian-born attacker Thiago Augusto provided some impetus in their attack.

Al Romaihi smashed the ball against the post but was more clinical just minutes later when he rounded off a pin-point cross from Al-Humaidan.

That proved enough for the win, prompting scenes of celebration on the final whistle.

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