Iraq were held to a scoreless draw with UAE in their opening match of the Gulf Cup of Nations at 22 May stadium on Tuesday. The 2007 AFC Asian Cup champions missed a late penalty, as skipper Younis Mahmoud failed to beat Majed Nasser with three minutes to go.
Iraq should have had the three points, having been the better side throughout. They could have opened the scoring after 35 minutes when Nashat Akram sent a neat pass to Younis Mahmoud whose shot was saved by Nasser.
In the other Group B clash, defending champions Oman shared a 1-1 draw with Bahrain. The defending champions opened the scoring after 37 minutes when Ahmed Hadid's free-kick was headed home by Imad Al Hosani.
Bahrain were the better side in the second half and they levelled the scores seven minutes after the hour mark as Ibrahim Al Mishkhas fired a powerful free-kick into the net. Oman finished the game with ten men as Mohamad Al Sheiba was sent off with 17 minutes remaining.