Asian Cup Qualifiers: Impressive Bahrain Win Group E

Published March 27th, 2018 - 10:28 GMT
Photo: The AFC
Photo: The AFC

Abdulla Yusuf scored a brace as Bahrain wrapped up top spot in Group E of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 qualifiers following a 4-0 victory over second-placed Turkmenistan on Tuesday.

Yusuf gave the home side an early lead before doubling the West Asians' advantage midway through the first half as Bahrain went into the break with a comfortable advantage.

Sayed Redha Hashim added a third in the 64th minute and Abdulla Yaser rounded off the scoring shortly after as Bahrain advanced to the United Arab Emirates on top of the standings.

With both sides locked together on 10 points, top spot was at stake at Bahrain National Stadium, although it was the visitors who required victory if they were to progress above Bahrain.

The hosts started brightly and, after a sustained period of pressure, opened the scoring on 12 minutes through Yusuf when the forward received the ball with his back to goal, turned and fired a powerful effort past Turkmen goalkeeper Mamed Orazmuhamedov.

Yusuf then doubled his and his team’s tally in the 24th minute when he controlled a cross into the box on his chest and volleyed into the far right corner to open up a two-goal lead for the West Asians.

Bahrain all but put the game beyond their Central Asian opponents 19 minutes after the restart when Hashim made his way into the penalty area from the left and drilled a low shot from an acute angle beyond Orazmuhamedov.

Then three minutes later the home side rounded off the scoring when birthday boy Yaser cheekily back-heeled home from close range after Turkmenistan had failed to clear Jamal Rashed’s corner from the right.

Bahrain will compete in their fifth successive AFC Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates next January, while Turkmenistan will be delighted in a qualifying campaign that saw them advance for only the second time after also appearing at China in 2004.

Source: The AFC

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