BAHRAIN kicked off the final stage of preparations yesterday for their AFC Asian Cup qualifier against Singapore, set to be held on Tuesday.
The nationals arrived in Singapore in the morning after travelling from Hong Kong, where they played an international friendly against their East Asian hosts on Thursday.
After a short rest in the afternoon, Bahrain head coach Miroslav Soukup conducted a training session in the early evening at the National Stadium of Singapore. The practice lasted for about an hour, after which coach Soukup talked to the players and stressed to them the importance of the upcoming qualifier.
Soukup also said that the team must maintain the good form they showed in their 2-0 victory over Hong Kong in Thursday’s friendly, and also discussed with them their errors in that match, in which Ali Madan and Sami Al Hussaini were the goal scorers late on.
Despite the team’s demanding travel schedule, the players showed enthusiasm during yesterday’s training. They are scheduled to be given a well-deserved break today morning and afternoon, but will get right back on the pitch in the evening.
Missing from yesterday’s session was Ibrahim Habib, who suffered an eye injury during their match against Hong Kong and had to be treated at a local hospital. Team officials noted that Habib needed 13 stitches to close the wound he suffered. Habib is back with the squad, but he will likely sit out the match against Singapore to avoid any further complications from his injury.
Bahrain’s match against Singapore on Tuesday is scheduled to kick off at 2.30pm, Bahrain time, and it is set to be their fifth in Group ‘E’ of the third qualifying stage.
Bahrain are currently in first place in the group. They have seven points from two wins, one draw and one loss. The Bahrainis are tied with Turkmenistan, while Chinese Taipei are third with six points and Singapore are last with two points.
Following Bahrain’s qualifier with Singapore, they play their final game against Turkmenistan on March 27 at home.
There are six groups in all in this third qualifying stage, with the top two teams from each earning a berth in the AFC Asian Cup 2019.