Bahrain set up Malaysia friendly in preparation for joint-qualifiers | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Bahrain set up Malaysia friendly in preparation for joint-qualifiers

Bahrain are set to play an international friendly match against Malaysia on March 21 in preparation for their next qualifier for the Fifa World Cup 2022 and the AFC Asian Cup 2023.

This was announced last night by the Bahrain Football Association. Bahrain have three games remaining in Group C of the joint-qualifiers. They resume their campaign on March 26 at home against Cambodia. The friendly against Malaysia will be played in Bahrain.

It is the first tune-up game scheduled so far in preparation for the Cambodia clash. Following that qualifier, the Bahrainis then play Iran in Tehran on June 4, before closing out this stage against Hong Kong at home on June 9. Iraq are currently atop Group C with 11 points. They have a two-point lead over Bahrain.

Iran are third with six points and have a game in hand, while Hong Kong were fourth on five points and Cambodia fifth with one. In this phase of the joint-qualifiers, there are eight groups in all, with five nations in each group.

Teams play home and away matches. At the end, the eight group winners and the four best runners-up advance to the third round of World Cup qualifying, and also book their berths in the Asian Cup. The next best 24 teams will compete in a separate competition for the remaining 12 slots in the Asian Cup.

Bahrain head coach Helio Sousa is currently on holiday and is scheduled to fly directly to Thailand next week to observe the under-23 Olympic team compete in the 2020 AFC U-23 Championship.