*** ----> Bahrain battle past Syria in international friendly | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Bahrain battle past Syria in international friendly

TDT | Manama                                        

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com   

Bahrain’s senior men’s national football team defeated their counterparts from Syria 1-0 last night in an international friendly match played at Shaikh Ali bin Mohammed Al Khalifa Stadium at Muharraq Club in Arad.

Abdulla Al Khalassi scored with a header in the first half and that eventually proved to be enough to separate the two sides at the final whistle.

It was the second tune-up in a week for the nationals at home.

They had previously faced off with Palestine and lost 1-2. Last night’s fixture marked the end of the Bahrainis’ latest training gathering under national team head coach Helio Sousa.

According to sources, it could have also been the last international match for Sousa with the team, as the Portuguese tactician’s current contract with the Bahrain Football Association (BFA) ends in June.

It is understood that the BFA does not intend to renew his deal and will be looking for a new head coach.

Sousa started yesterday’s affair with a team that included Omar Salem in goal, along with skipper Waleed Al Hayyam, Mohammed Jassim Marhoon, Komail Al Aswad, Sayed Hashem Issa, Mahdi Abdullatif, Hamza Juban, Hussein Ali Abdulla, Abbas Fadhel, Ebrahim Al Khattal and Khalassi.

Syria’s Argentinian head coach Hector Cuper had Ibrahim Alma between the posts at kick-off, with the rest of his squad featuring Omar Khrbin, Mohammed Al Hallaq, Oliver Isak Kawo, Ampnoul Rachman Oues, Simon Amin, Fahad Yousef, Saad Ahmad, Mohammed Fares Alarnaout, Ammar Ramadan and Molham Babouli.

Bahrain’s Salem made impressive back-to-back saves in the 16th minute to keep Syria at bay early on.

After missing out on a handful of opportunities, the Bahrainis took the lead in the 43rd minute with Khalassi’s brilliant header in the face of goal.

He connected on a cross from the right wing supplied by Al Khattal.

Syria’s Alma got his hands on the ball and tried to punch it away, but it instead went straight into the net.

The home team were unlucky not to have added to their score line on either side of the break.

In the second half, Sayed Hashem Issa and Komail Al Aswad both had fine chances, but could not come up with the finishing touches.

A number of substitutes came on for each team but the score remained the same at the end.

Bahrain have used the friendlies and their training gathering for their upcoming competitions, which includes the next edition of the AFC Asian Cup, to be held in Doha in January of next year.

Bahrain are one of 24 teams who have qualified for the Asian Cup.