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Qatar end Gulf Cup hopes of defending champions Kuwait

© Reuters 2002

RIYADH, Jan 26 - Qatar continued their amazing run in the Gulf Cup as they beat Kuwait by a solitary goal on Saturday to knock the defending champions out of contention for the trophy.

Qatar have won all four of their matches so far and now lead the standings with 12 points, five more than second-placed Saudi Arabia, who play Oman on Sunday.

Saudi Arabia must win their last two matches against Oman and Qatar next Wednesday to deny the current leaders the title.

Kuwait have only two points from four matches following two draws and two defeats and cannot now catch Qatar.

Jaffal Rashid scored the only goal from a 64th minute free-kick from outside the box, during a polished performance from the side coached by Frenchman Pierre Lachanter.

The teams were evenly matched in the first half, but were denied a goal by poor finishing with Kuwaiti skipper Hussain al-Khodhari and Adel Jadou both missing easy chances.

Lifted by the goal, Qatar stepped up the pressure, but Dhahi al-Noubi narrowly missed two opportunities. Kuwait tried in vain for an equaliser, but the Qatar defence held firm.

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