BAHRAIN’S under-23 Olympic football team were dealt a disheartening 1-4 loss against their counterparts from China last night in the 2019 Toulon Tournament, currently being played in France.
The Chinese fired in two goals on either side of half-time while the Bahrainis were able to get one back from the penalty spot late in the contest, although it had little effect on the end result.
It was the second successive loss for Bahrain in the competition after the nationals also bowed to Mexico in their first game of the opening round, where they are competing in Group ‘C’. They have one final assignment on Sunday when they face off with Ireland.
Shan Juanhuan netted a brace for China after scoring in both the 16th and 26th minutes.
Bahrain were then given a penalty in the 76th minute, which Mohammed Al Hardan sent home to get his team back to within a goal.
But their opponents were able to reply with two more goals before the final whistle, just 11 minutes apart. Hu Jinghang was first to add to their total in the 79th minute while Lin Liangming supplied the fourth on the stroke of regular time.
The Bahrainis had more shots registered in the match but only four were on target, while China had 11 shots with six on target. Bahrain also had the greater percentage of possession.
Bahrain Olympic team head coach Samir Ben Chammam started with a first 11 of Al Hardan, Mohamed Marhoon, Ahmed Alsherooqi, Mohamed Abdulrahman, Ahmed Saleh, Abbas Fadhel, S Sayed Mohammed Ameen, Ahmed Bughammar, Abbas Alkhayyat, Salem Adel and goalkeeper Ammar Mohammed Ahmed.
Later coming on as substitutes were Hussain Jameel Mansoor, Hasan Madan, Mohammed Al Shamsi and Adnan Fawaz.
The Bahrainis are playing as part of their preparations for the 2020 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Championship, 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’ comprises Chile, England, Japan and Portugal; while Group ‘B’ features Brazil, France, Guatemala and Qatar.