The United Arab Emirates opened its Gulf Cup campaign with a 3-1 win over neighboring Qatar while Bahrain played to a scoreless draw against Oman on Saturday.
Qatar scored in the 11th minute when Khalfan Ibrahim slotted home a penalty. But the UAE answered two minutes later, when Omar Abdulrahman drew his side level. The UAE took the lead in the 28th through Ali Mabkhout, and Mohamed Ahmad Gharib put the result beyond doubt with a goal in the 66th for the 2007 champion.
The eight-team tournament, hosted by Bahrain due to fears of violence in Iraq, is being played over two weeks amid tight security due to a political crisis in the Gulf nation. Violent clashes between riot police and anti-government protesters are routine but didn't disrupt either match.