Bahrain set for Ukraine mini-training camp
TDT | Manama
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
Bahrain’s senior men’s national football team will make a five-day trip to Ukraine later this month where they will play an international friendly match against their European hosts on May 23.
This was confirmed yesterday by a team official, who said that the Bahraini squad will be in Kiev from May 20 to 24.
During this period, they will face their Ukranian counterparts at the Metalist Oblast Sports Complex stadium in the city of Kharkiv.
The game will be part of both teams’ preparations for their upcoming international matches, which, for the Bahrainis, include their remaining joint-qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023.
The Ukraine friendly is their first of two in the last week of May.
They also face off with Malaysia at home on May 28.
Bahrain, coached by Portuguese tactician Helio Sousa, are expected to begin a local training camp on May 15 before flying to Europe.
Sousa has yet to name the squad that he will call up for this crucial period, as Bahrain’s three remaining joint-qualifiers are scheduled to be held in June.
They will be played in the Kingdom after the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) named Bahrain as the centralised venue for Group C, which also includes Iraq, Iran, Cambodia and Hong Kong.
Bahrain is set to go against Cambodia on June 3, Iran on June 7 and then Hong Kong on June 15.
Bahrain is currently second in their division with nine points, having won two matches and drawn thrice.
Iraq is the leaders with 11 points after winning three games and drawing two other times.
Iran is third with six points but has played just three matches so far and have two wins and two losses.
Hong Kong and Cambodia completed the Group C table with five points and one point, respectively.
There are eight groups in all in this round of qualifiers, with five nations in each group.
The other centralised venues selected by the AFC are China for Group A, Kuwait for Group B, Saudi Arabia for Group D, Qatar for Group E, Japan for Group F, the UAE for Group G and South Korea for Group H.
At the end of this stage of qualification, the eight group winners and the four best runners-up advance to the third round of World Cup qualifying, and also secure 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.