Bahrain took pole position in Group C of the Asian Qualifiers for the Fifa World Cup 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023 after beating Cambodia 8-0 at Bahrain National Stadium last night.
The victory took Bahrain to 12 points, one ahead of Iraq who have a match in hand with Iran up next for Helio Sousa’s side on Monday. Iran defeated Hong Kong 3-1 in their match to move to nine points.
Bahrain hit the ground running at the Bahrain National Stadium as Komail Al Aswad had a glimpse at goal just two minutes in when he intercepted a pass by Cambodia goalkeeper Keo Soksela but his long range attempt missed the mark by mere centimetres.
Six minutes later, Jasim Al Shaikh curled in a cross into the area which eluded Mahdi Humaidan but the ball landed perfectly for an unmarked Al Aswad, who struck his shot into the top right corner of the net to open the scoring.
Boosted by the early goal, Bahrain went in search for more and after several misses, doubled their lead in first half added time with Mohamed Al Romaihi punishing some careless Cambodian defending.
Less than a minute into the second half, Madan got at the end of a series of passes to etch his name on the scoresheet, before Jasim Al Shaikh got into the action five minutes later when he converted Ouk Sovann’s poor clearance with an unstoppable strike to make it 4-0.
Al Aswad continued to be a threat on the left flank, and turned provider when his crisp cross completed an Ali Madan cross to widen the lead in the 65th minute.
Substitute Mohamed Marhoon made his mark in the 72nd minute, collecting a cross in the box before firmly setting up Al Aswad for the finishing touch.
Another of Bahrain’s substitutes, Ismail Abdullatif made it 7-0 in the 75th minute, tapping Waleed Al Hayam’s assist home, before Mohamed Al Malood ended proceedings with his header in the second minute of added time.
The defeat means Cambodia remain on one point after six matches, with the Southeast Asian side to play Iraq on Monday.