BAHRAIN’S under-23 Olympic team suffered a 0-2 loss to Mexico last night in their opening match of the 2019 Toulon Tournament, being held in France.
The game was played at the Stade de Lattre de Tassigny located in the southern French commune of Aubagne.
The Bahrainis gave up both goals in the opening 10 minutes of the match, and could not find a way to claw back.
Midfielder Ismaeel Govea scored the opener in just the fifth minute, while defender Jairo Torres scored the other a mere five minutes later.
The fixture was in Group ‘C’ of the competition’s first round.
Bahrain’s division also features the under-21 squad of Ireland and the under-22 team of China. The Irish defeated the Chinese 4-1 in yesterday’s other group affair.
The nationals return to the pitch on Sunday when they take on Ireland in their next fixture. Mexico and China face off in the other group game.
The Bahrainis started with a first 11 that included Sayed Ebrahim, Mohammed Marhoon, Mohammed Abdulrahman, Ahmed Saleh Sanad, Mohammed Al Hardan, Jassim Al Salama, Sayed Mohammed Ameen, Ahmed Bughammar, Abbas Alkhayyat, Salem Adel and goalkeeper Yousef Habeeb.
Head coach Samir Ben Chammam made four substitutions in the game, giving time to Abbas Fadhel Abdulla, Hasan Madan, Ahmed Al Sherooqi and Adnan Fawaz.
The Bahrainis had only six shots in the contest, with two on target; while the Mexicans had a total of 27 with seven on target.
Mexico also had 70 per cent of the possession and won six corners.
The Bahrainis are playing as part of their preparations for the 2020 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Championship, which is scheduled to take place in January of next year and which also acts as the Asian qualifiers for the 2020 Summer Olympics.
The Toulon Tournament is also known as the Festival International “Espoirs” – Tournoi Maurice Revello, and it is the most prestigious of all friendly tournaments involving under-23 teams and younger. It is scheduled to continue until June 15 across six host cities.
Bahrain are one of 12 teams set to compete in the Toulon Tournament. Group ‘A’ includes Chile, England, Japan and Portugal; while Group ‘B’ features Brazil, France, Guatemala and Qatar.