BAHRAIN’S under-23 Olympic football team went down fighting 0-1 to Ireland’s under-21 squad yesterday in the 2019 Toulon Tournament in France.
Midfielder Connor Ronan scored the match’s lone goal in the 33rd minute of play.
The Bahrainis battled hard until the final whistle as they searched for an equaliser, but they had only seven shots on goal the entire game with only two on target.
With the result, the Bahrainis ended their Group ‘C’ campaign with no wins in three tries. They had earlier bowed to Mexico and China in their other divisional fixtures.
Bahrain now have one final classification match to play. It will be against Qatar for the right to claim 11th place overall out of the 12 participating nations. The contest is scheduled to take place tomorrow.
The Irish and the Mexicans moved on to the semi-finals along with Brazil and Japan, while the Chinese play for seventh position overall.
The Bahrainis continued to find difficulty in attacking the net of their rivals yesterday, having only scored one goal in their previous two matches.
Olympic team head coach Samir Ben Chammam started the match with a team comprising Ahmed Saleh Ahmed as a long striker; Ahmed Al Sherooqi, Adnan Fawaz, Mohamed Marhoom, Abbas Fadhel Al Asfoor and Mohammed Al Hardan in midfield; Jasim Al Salama, Abbas Alkhayyat, Ahmed Bughammar and Ahmad Habeeb in the back four; and Ahmed Jaafar Ahmed as the goalkeeper.
Sayed Ebrahim Alawi, Mohammed Al Shamsi and Mohamed Abdulrahman all also saw some action as substitutes.
The Bahrainis enjoyed only 40 per cent of the possession in the match, and won only two corners.
The Toulon Tournament is one of the most prestigious international friendly competitions in the world. It is also known as the Festival International “Espoirs” – Tournoi Maurice Revello.
The Bahrainis are participating 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.
In the semi-finals, Mexico take on Japan while Ireland face Brazil. The other classification matches see Portugal battle France for fifth place, China and Chile play for seventh and England and Guatemala face off for ninth.
The classification games are scheduled for tomorrow and Thursday, with the final four on Wednesday. The bronze and gold medal games are then slated for Saturday.