Saturday, July 4, 2020

Bahrain fall in shootout


BAHRAIN lost to Qatar 2-4 in a penalty shootout last night as they signed off from the 2019 Toulon Tournament, being held in France.

The match between both nations’ under-23 Olympic teams was deadlocked at 1-1 at the end of 90 minutes, setting up the spot kicks. The Bahrainis were then able to convert only two tries before the Qataris secured the win with their fifth penalty.

The result put Bahrain in 12th and last place to end the competition. They lost all four of their matches, including their first three in the group stages and then yesterday’s final classification match.

Qatar claimed 11th place following their only win of the tournament.

Earlier during regular time, both teams were able to find the net on either side of half-time.

Defender Salem Adel put the Bahrainis in front with a goal in the 28th minute, which was enough for the lead heading into the break. The Qataris equalised seven minutes into the hour through Khalid Muneer Mazeed, and things remained level until the final whistle.

In the shootout, Ammar Jaafar Ahmed was in goal for Bahrain and Yazam Naim for Qatar. Qatar were the first to kick and Mazeed made no mistake with his attempt. Bahrain’s Mohamed Marhoon tried to reply but he could not score.

Nasser Al Ahrak then failed to convert for Qatar with their second shot, and then the scores were tied at 2-2 with goals from Al Ahrak with his other try and Bahrain’s Mohammed Al Hardan and Ahmed Bughammar.

Qatar then took a 3-2 lead with an Ahmed Al Hamawende goal and a miss from Bahrain’s Sayed Hashim, and then Amro Ali Surag sealed the win with the Qataris’ final penalty.

Bahrain head coach Samir Ben Chammam had started the contest with an 11 that included Ahmed Saleh Sanad as a lone striker; Marhoon, Jasim Al Salama, Mohamed Ahmadi Abdulrahman, Adnan Fawaz and Abbas Fadhel Al Asfoor in midfield; Sayed Mohammed Ameen, Ahmad Habeeb, Bughammar and Adel were in the back four; and Ahmed in goal.

The Toulon tournament is one of the most prestigious international friendly competitions in the world involving under-23 teams and younger. It is also known as the Festival International ‘Espoirs’ – Tournoi Maurice Revello.

The Bahrainis played as part of their preparations for the 2020 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Championship, which is scheduled to take place in January of next year and which also acts as the Asian qualifiers for the 2020 Summer Olympics.