BAHRAIN head coach Helio Sousa last night admitted that he was not happy with the draw against Iraq on Thursday in the joint-qualifiers for the Fifa World Cup 2022 and the AFC Asian Cup 2023.
After taking an early lead, the Bahrainis conceded the equaliser with just five minutes remaining in regular time, preventing them from making a winning start to their qualification campaign.
Speaking at the post match press conference, the Portuguese pointed out that Bahrain had created many opportunities to score throughout the match, while Iraq had only one chance, which led to their goal.
He said that Iraqi goalkeeper Mohammed Farhan was able to stop many of Bahrain’s attempts to score, making up for his error which led to the hosts’ only goal.
Sousa added that the national team had worked hard to create a winning mentality over the past several weeks prior to yesterday’s clash, and it showed in the game.
On the opposing end, Iraqi defender Ali Adnan said he was satisfied that they were able to come away with a point against a very difficult opponent.
He revealed that their players were affected by the high humidity during the match.
Adnan added that Iraq must now double their efforts in the coming period in order to achieve their goal of reaching the Fifa World Cup and AFC Asian Cup.
Meanwhile, Iraq goalkeeper Farhan admitted he made a serious mistake in allowing Bahrain to take the lead in the ninth minute. Farhan mishandled the shot by Komail Alaswad, allowing it to slip through his hands, between his legs and into the net.
He apologised to his teammates, the coaching staff and fans for the mistake.
He added that the draw was a good result for the Iraqis, especially since the team began their preparations late.
Bahrain next play Cambodia in Phnom Penh on Tuesday. They are scheduled to depart for the Cambodian capital tonight and will be transiting through Bangkok.
Following that match, the nationals play on October 15 at home against Iran before travelling to Hong Kong to play on November 14. They then go to Iraq for another qualifier on November 19, which will be their last game for the calendar year.