DIRECTOR of national teams at Bahrain Football Association Rashid Al Buainain yesterday stressed the importance of Bahrain’s match against Iraq tomorrow in Amman in the 2022 World Cup and 2023 AFC Cup joint qualifier.
Bahrain are presently in second position in Group ‘C’ on eight points, a point behind Iraq. With the winners of the eight groups and four best runners-up moving into the next stage of qualifiers, the match against Iraq tomorrow will be crucial and a victory will virtually ensure Bahrain a ticket into the third qualifying stage, according to Al Buainain, who is in Amman with the national team.
“The players are determined to put in their best and are aware of the importance of the match. They are also aware of the strengths of the Iraqis but have belief in their own strengths too.”
Bahrain player Ahmed Bugmar expressed similar sentiments after a training session yesterday.
“We have put behind us the goalless draw against Hong Kong. We are fully focussed on our next match which is very crucial as a win will see us move to the top of the table,” said Bugmar.
Bahrain coach Helio Sousa, meanwhile, admitted the goalless result against Hong Kong was disappointing.
“It was not the result we were hoping for but I’m very pleased with the way we fought till the end,” said the Portuguese tactician after the match.
“It was a good match as Hong Kong also put in a good performance and thwarted all our attempts to score. But we must be stronger in our next match and created more chances and make more attempts at scoring.”
Iran are in third place with six points following a 1-2 defeat to Iraq on the same day. Hong Kong are fourth on two points and Cambodia at the bottom with a single point.
In another match tomorrow, Hong Kong hosts Cambodia.