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Asian Cup: Bahrain set for ‘historic’ clash

Mon, 21 Jan 2019

BAHRAIN players were upbeat last night ahead of tomorrow’s do-or-die clash against South Korea in the Asian Cup quarter-finals in Dubai, starting 4pm Bahrain time.

Bahrain Football Association vice-president for technical affairs Shaikh Khalid bin Salman Al Khalifa described tomorrow’s match as historical but not impossible to win.

Shaikh Khalid said South Korea are one of the favourites to win the competition.

“They have defeated top teams like former World Cup champions Germany at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, but we are not unduly daunted,” said Shaikh Khalid.

“Our qualification from Group ‘A’ proves that we are capable of matching the best teams. We want to take another step forward and are very motivated to achieve our goals.

“The chances are equal between our team and South Korea specially when it comes to knock out stage, so whoever performs well will win,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Bahrain national team will conclude their last training session today at the Rashid Stadium in Dubai, the match venue.

Bahrain qualified for the last 16 from Group ‘A’ as the third best team behind group winners and hosts UAE and Thailand and ahead of India who finished last.

Bahrain drew with UAE 1-1 in the opening match and lost 0-2 to Thailand in the second.

But in the do-or-die third match of the group, Bahrain beat India, coached by England’s Stephen Constantine, by an injury time penalty kick by Jamal Rashed.

Bahrain needed a victory to progress while a draw was enought for India to progress into the pre-quarter-finals.

India’s coach Constantine resigned after the match.

“I’ve been here for four years. My objective from day one was to qualify for the Asian Cup. I’ve done that and we’ve broken a few records. I’m exceptionally proud of the players for everything that they’ve given.

“I think my cycle is finished,” added the 56-year-old.

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