BAHRAIN suffered a disheartening setback yesterday in their bid to qualify for the quarter-finals of the AFC Futsal Championship in Chinese-Taipei.
The Bahrainis were narrowly defeated 1-2 by Vietnam in their second Group ‘A’ game of the first round.
Nguyen Dac Huy and Phung Trong Luan were on target in the first-half for the winners while skipper Mohamed Al Sindi was the scorer for Bahrain.
The Bahrainis could have scored another goal but a shot from Mohamed Abdulla early in the second-half which bounced between the goalposts but was adjudged to have not crossed the line.
The loss followed a 2-2 draw with the hosts in their opening fixture on Thursday.
Bahrain still have one last chance to make it through to the last eight, but they must beat Malaysia and hope that Chinese-Taipei defeat Vietnam in the final group games tomorrow.
Bahrain must also hope for a favourable goal difference in what has turned out to be very tight group.
Following the defeat, Bahrain head coach Adel Al Marzooqi was disappointed but still encouraged by the players’ effort. “My team’s performance was definitely better than the first game. We had so many chances but failed to score.
“Our players lost their concentration for a while because of the goal that was not awarded, which was why we conceded a second goal.
“In the second-half, our players still couldn’t fully concentrate because we were committing too many fouls. Our next match against Malaysia is definitely the final. We will give everything we have, and will fight for three points.”
Bahrain’s do-or-die match against Malaysia is at 2pm, Bahrain time, tomorrow. Chinese-Taipei and Vietnam clash at the same time.
Also tomorrow, Japan and Uzbekistan face off while Tajikistan and South Korea clash in Group ‘B’.
Today, Jordan play Kyrgyzstan and Lebanon battle Thailand in Group ‘D’ while Myanmar face Iraq and China battle Iran in Group ‘C’.
The top two teams from each group move to the quarter-finals scheduled for Thursday.