Bahrain set for tough test in Asian beach soccer quarters
TDT | Manama
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
Bahrain is expecting a tough challenge when they lock horns with Iran today in the quarter-finals of the 2023 AFC Beach Soccer Asian Cup, currently being held in Pattaya, Thailand.
Head coach Sadeq Marhoon has described their opponents as “one of the strongest teams in the world”, but added that they will give their best to try and claim a victory.
The match is scheduled for a 4.30pm kick-off, Bahrain time, and it will be played at Jomtien Beach Arena.
“We play with one of the strongest teams in the world, and we’ll try our best to create a tactic to contain them and come out looking good,” said Marhoon during his pre-game Press conference yesterday.
“We have played Iran so many times and have won.
At one time we were tops in beach football and now Iran are better and stronger.
“Because we are evolving at the moment, with a mix of new players and experienced ones, the challenge would be in dealing with the technical aspect and one-on-one situations.”
The Bahrainis are set to play without star skipper Rashed Jamal, who was given a red card in their previous match.
“It is a big loss for us, but we have to do whatever we can to defeat Iran,” said Marhoon of Jamal’s absence.
Bahrain secured their tickets to the round of eight with wins against Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia, and despite losing to hosts Thailand in their concluding match of the tournament’s preliminary round.
The nationals finished as runners-up in Group A, behind only the Thais, who had a superior goal difference, with both sides finishing on six points apiece.
The other quarter-final games will see Thailand take on the UAE, also today, and then Japan facing Kuwait and Oman playing China tomorrow.
The semi-finals follow on Saturday and both the gold and bronze medal games on Sunday, the concluding day of the championship.
Bahrain were winners of the inaugural AFC Beach Soccer Asian Cup in 2006 and then were finalists in 2009.
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