DOHA: Abdullah Al Hamdan gave Saudi Arabia a dream start against Bahrain with his first goal of 24th Arab Gulf Cup on Saturday night.
His effort in the 29th minute, a powerful left-footed drive from top of the box, kicked off celebrations at the Saudi dugout two days after their dismal opening game defeat (3-1) at the Al Duhail Stadium.
“Determination helped us to win especially after the surprising loss against Kuwait," said the 20-year-old.
Mohammed Abdu Khubrani headed home the second in the 59th to help the three-time winners notch up their first win in the tournament.
On the next match against Oman, Al Hamdan said: "We take each game separately. We look forward to winning the next match and securing a place in the semis."
Saudi Arabia’s victory has thrown Group B's last two matches on Monday wide open with Oman (4 points), Saudi Arabia (3) and Kuwait (3) all have a chance to progress to the last four.
Al Hamdan, who plays for Al Shabab in the Saudi Professional League, had another chance to beat Bahrain goalkeeper Al Dosari, but the shot kissed the near post and rolled over the goal-line.
Bahrain and Yemen are the only two teams who have never won the regional competition since it was in 1970.