BAHRAIN women suffered a 2-5 defeat at the hands of China yesterday in their opening Group ‘C’ match in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women’s Futsal Championship in Bangkok.
Making their debut in the competition, the Bahrainis had a dream start when Shaikha Hessa Al Khalifa scored in the very first minute with a fine volley that powered past goalkeeper Zhang Yue.
The Chinese equalised two minutes later through Li Jingjing and then Tian Jiao put them ahead 2-1 in the 11th minute.
Zhan Huimin made it 3-1 for China in the 15th minute.
Bahrain hit back immediately with Manaer Yaqoob reducing the margin to 2-3.
But China sealed the match with back-to-back goals from Li Yingqing and Shen Nan.
Despite the loss, Bahrain coach Elrashid Buhari Ahmed said he was pleased with the team’s showing in their maiden major futsal competition.
“The girls surprised themselves and surprised a few others, especially since it’s the first match for us at this level,” said Ahmed.
“So it’s a great effort from us, we showed great heart.”
Bahrain will be looking to bounce back in their next match tomorrow but they face a monumental task against futsal powerhouses Japan.
Bahrain’s final group game will be against Lebanon on Monday.
Japan beat Lebanon 5-1 in another Group ‘C’ clash yesterday.
The top two teams move into the quarter-finals.