BAHRAIN last night made a winning start in Group ‘E’ qualifiers for the AFC Under-19 Championship 2020 beating Bangladesh 3-0 at Khalifa Stadium in Isa Town, reports Vijay Mruthyunjaya.
Bhutan and Jordan are the other two teams in this group.
The Bahraini youngsters proved a better side in all departments of the game, dominating right through the match and, in the end, winning with much to spare.
Though Bahrain had to wait almost till the half-time to prove their territorial supremacy, the fact that they were a better side on the field was never in doubt.
Abdulrahman Al Sayed finally proved that point in the 43rd minute to put Bahrain ahead, making the most of a fine pass by Sayed Jawad Haider.
Bahrain almost doubled the lead in the 67th minute but Mohammed Abdul Qayyum’s long-range shot was well saved by the Bangladesh goalkeeper.
Thus Bahrain had to spend long periods of time to give numerical meaning to their domination.
The second goal finally arrived in the 89th minute as Abdulrahman scored his second to ensure three points for the hosts.
Abdullah Al Nimr added the third goal in the 96th minute to underline Bahrain’s overall superiority.
Games continue at Khalifa Sports City Stadium in Isa Town with tickets costing BD2 and BD3 and the same are available at the gate.
Tomorrow, Bangladesh face Jordan while Bahrain play Bhutan. Bangladesh battle Bhutan and Bahrain take on Jordan on the final day on Sunday.
The first match starts at 4.15pm and the second at 7pm.
There are 11 groups in the qualifiers with each team in each group playing each other at a centralised venue.
The 11 group winners and the four best runners-up qualify for the AFC Under-19 Championship 2020 to be held in Uzbekistan next October.
If the final tournament hosts win their group or are among the four best runners-up, the fifth best runners-up also qualify. Iraq, Qatar, Tajikistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Cambodia, Chinese Taipei, Myanmar, Vietnam and Indonesia are hosting other qualifying tournaments.
Bahrain finished second in the same event in 1977 and 1986 and are presently looking to qualify for the finals for the 10th time. The last time the Bahrainis qualified for the final was in 2016 as hosts and they stormed into the quarter-finals and ultimately finished seventh.
In the day’s first match of the day, Jordan beat Bhutan 3-0.
Coach: Ismail Karami.
Squad: Salman Adel (goalkeeper). Ahmed Musallam, Hani Taha, Salem Hussein, Abdulrahman Al-Obaidli, Mohammed Abdul Qayyum, Hussein Haruna, Adel Al-Rumaihi, Abdullah Al-Nimr, Sayed Jawad Haidar and Abdulrahman Al-Sayed.