Bahrain will look for their first win at the AFC Asian Cup 2019 in UAE when they take on Thailand today at 2pm in a Group ‘A’ match at Al Nasr Club Stadium in Dubai.
In another Group ‘A’ clash today, hosts UAE take on India at 7pm.
Today’s match against Thailand is crucial for Bahrain after having drawn 1-1 against UAE in the opener. Bahrain need to win the match ahead of their clash with India, who are currently on top of the group with three points after a 4-1 victory over the Thai team.
The top two teams from each group qualify for the last 16 round along with the best four third-placed sides in all the six groups.
Bahrain’s coach Miroslav Soukup said that today’s game will not be easy and the changes made by Thailand after the sacking of their coach would have made them a more formidable outfit.
Addessing a press conference yesterday, Soukup said that his team was all set for the match, both mentally and physically. He said that the team would be looking forward to clinching the three points by performing as good as the opening match against UAE.
“We all play for victory, not for a draw, but a mistake by the referee in our opening match against UAE cost us the three points we deserved,” said Soukup.
“Our focus now is on the Thailand game, and we will do our best to earn our first three points in the championship. All the players have the ability to secure a win and they are ready for it,” he added.
Despite their loss, the Thais, according to Soukup, played better than India. Therefore Bahrain must not take them lightly, he said.
Bahrain defender Waleed Al Hayyam said that the players are ready to claim their first victory in the championship.
“Even though they lost against India, Thailand is a very tough team and we respect them. Therefore we will play as hard as possible for a win,” said Al Hayyam.
The team concluded their last training session yesterday ahead of today’s match. It was attended by Bahrain Football Association president Shaikh Ali bin Khalifa Al Khalifa and other officials.