Qatar beat Bahrain in the opening match of the FIFA Arab Cup ©Getty Images

Hosts Qatar began their FIFA Arab Cup campaign with a victory as they beat Bahrain on the first day of the tournament.

Abdulaziz Hatem scored the only goal of the Group A clash at Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor to ensure Qatar took maximum points from their opening fixture.

Hatem's 69th-minute header went in via the post before Qatar, the reigning Asian Cup champions, held firm to secure the win.

"I think we played a good game, the first game is never easy," said Qatar coach Felix Sanchez. 

"They are an organised team with top quality. 

"The first half was a little difficult, but later we had the better chances so we deserved the three points."

In the other match in the group, Hasan Abdulkareem's penalty deep into stoppage time salvaged a point for Iraq as they drew 1-1 with Oman at Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah.

Salah Said Salim al-Yahyaei had put Oman ahead from the spot after 78 minutes but Iraq scored a dramatic equaliser in the eighth minute of added time.

Tunisia were in superb form in their opening game as they thrashed Mauritania 5-1 in Group B at Ahmed bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan.

Seifeddine Jaziri and Firas Ben Larbi both scored twice and Youssef Msakni also got in on the act in a thumping win for Tunisia.

The United Arab Emirates beat Syria 2-1 in the group's other match, with Caio and Ali Saleh scoring for the victors.

The 16-team tournament, taking place for the first time since 2012, continues tomorrow.

Semi-automated offside technology is being used at the competition, a test event for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.