Bahrain set for training camp, friendlies
TDT | Manama
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
Bahrain head coach Helio Sousa has called up a 23- man national team that will be travelling to Kiev in just over a week’s time and play two international friendly matches later this month.
The Bahrainis will be holding the camp and tune-up games as part of their remaining joint-qualifying matches for the FIFA World Cup 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023. Those qualifiers will be held in the Kingdom next month, and this will be the team’s final lead-up to that crucial period.
The squad list was announced last night by the Bahrain Football Association. The camp will kick off locally on Saturday and continue until May 28. Bahrain’s qualifiers are currently scheduled to begin in the first week of June.
The team includes 13 players from the national league-and cup champions Riffa, namely Ahmed Abdulla, Ali Haram, Ali Madan, Hamad Shamsan, Hashim Isa, Hazza Ali, Jassim Al Shaikh, Komail Alaswad, Mahdi Humaidan, Mohammed Marhoon, Redha Isa, Sayed Baqer and Sayed Shubbar Alawi.
Three players are from Manama, namely Ahmed Nabeel, Mohammed Adel and league top scorer Mahdi Abduljabbar. Two are from East Riffa, including Mohammed Al Rumaihi and Abdulla Hazaa.
The rest of the team features Mohammed Marhoon from Malkiya Club, Jassim Khulaif from Budaiya, Abbas Fadhel from Al Shabab, Ebrahim Lutfallah from Al Khaldiya Club, and overseas-based professional Sayed Dhiya Saeed from Al Nasr SC in Kuwait.
There were no players named from Hidd or Muharraq, as both clubs are set to play in the AFC Cup during the same period.
The Bahrainis are expected to depart for Kiev on May 20, where they will stay until May 24. They are scheduled to face their Ukrainian counterparts at the Metalist Oblast Sports Complex stadium in the city of Kharkiv on May 23. This friendly is the first of two this month.
The other will be against Malaysia at home on May 28. Bahrain is in Group C of joint-qualifying, along with 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, all in the Kingdom. The Bahrainis are currently second in the group with nine points, having won two matches and drawn thrice.
Iraq are 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.
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.