Bahrain handball team will face Japan in a crucial preliminary round contest today.
Victory in today’s match, which starts at 5am, will raise Bahrain’s hopes of making it to the knockout round. Bahrain had lost their previous matches against Sweden, Portugal and Denmark, and are ranked fifth in Group B, with a goal difference of -12. Japan are at the bottom with a goal difference of -23.
Denmark, who are the reigning champions, leads the group with six points, followed by Sweden (6), Egypt (4) and Portugal (2).
Bahrain must beat Japan and Egypt to make in to the quarter-finals. Their hopes will be dashed if Portugal win their remaining matches or manage to beat Japan and tie with Bahrain on points, in which case the goal difference will come into play.
Bahrain, led by Icelandic coach Aaron Kristianson, will rely on the mastery of of goalkeeper Mohammed Abdul Hussein and playmaker Hussein Al Sayyad. They will also pin hopes on Mahdi Saad, Hassan Al Samahiji , Ahmed Jalal, Ali Mirza, Muhammad Habib, Muhammad Mirza and Ali Eid.