Bahrain will today take on Iran in a crucial match in the second round of the Asian qualifiers of the Fifa World Cup 2022 and the AFC Asian Cup 2023.
The match will kick off at 7.30pm at Bahrain National Stadium in Riffa before empty stands, in compliance with the mandatory precautionary measures for combating Covid-19.
The national squad tops Group C with 12 points, while third placed Iran has collected nine points.
The group also includes Iraq (11 points), with a game in hand, Hong Kong (five points) and Cambodia (one point) at the bottom of the table. Iraq will take on Cambodia today.
Bahrain’s head coach Helio Sousa expressed hope that the national team continue its winning streak, stressing the importance of the match.
“The team will continue accomplishing their goals by performing in an organised manner and in a way that enables the group to show coherence to achieve the best results,” he said during a Press conference.
He also stressed the importance of turning the page of the October 2019 match in which Bahrain beat Iran 1-0, before the outbreak of the pandemic, and focusing on today’s crucial game.
Goalkeeper Sayyed Mohammed Jaffer talked about the team’s preparations to take on the arch-rivals, who also have a chance to qualify. “The national football team have the ability to perform well.
He paid tribute to His Majesty King Hamad’s representative for humanitarian work and youth affairs Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa for his support to the team.
The national team have never lost to Iran at home. Bahrain even beat Iran in the 2002 World Cup qualifiers and drew in the 2006 World Cup qualifiers.
The General Sports Authority thanked companies and establishments that sponsored the #For-this-flag and #Ahmarna Can Do It – two campaigns launched in support of the national team.
It commended the support provided by Batelco, Stc Bahrain, Zain Bahrain, which launched the hashtags on their networks to garner support.
It also commended Shoot Sports and Talaba who also contributed to the campaign and allocated prizes for the accounts which were declared winners.
Local newspapers, social media websites and other online platforms were thanked for their support.