U23 Bahrainis through to football knockouts
TDT | Manama
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
Bahrain squared off with South Korea in two team sports yesterday at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, and came away with mixed results.
The Kingdom’s under-23 football team bowed to their South Korean rivals 0-3 in their concluding Group E match, but still managed to squeeze into the knockout stages of the men’s football tournament.
Meanwhile, the senior men’s volleyball team nearly took South Korea to five sets in a tough 1-3 (19-25, 21-25, 25-19, 23-25) defeat in their men’s volleyball classification clash.
Football and volleyball are two of the four team sports Bahrain is participating in at this year’s Hangzhou Asiad. The others are handball and basketball.
In yesterday’s men’s football action, the Bahrainis did well to hold the heavily favoured South Koreans goalless for much of the contest, but their rivals finally broke through at the hour-mark. Defender Hanbeom Lee supplied the opener for the victors, heading the ball home from close range off a pass from the left wing.
Lee managed to eke his effort into the net past Bahrain goalkeeper Salman Adel Alisa.
Later, in the 74th minute, skipper Seungho Paik doubled South Korea’s advantage, firing in a rocket from a metre outside the penalty box.
Youngjun Goh then applied the dagger in the 83rd minute, sending home a short stab to secure the win and the final 3-0 score line.
With the result, the Bahrainis finished with two points from their three matches in Group E of the men’s football preliminaries, which was enough to put them in second place on the table and into the next stage.
The South Koreans topped the group with a full nine points from three wins, while Thailand took third place and Kuwait fourth, both also on two points apiece following their 1-1 stalemate yesterday.
Bahrain advanced as runners-up with a superior goal difference of minus-three, while the Thais were on minus-four and Kuwait on minus-nine.
Bahrain’s next match will be against North Korea, scheduled for Wednesday.
The North Koreans finished the preliminaries as Group F winners with an unbeaten record in their three games.
Meanwhile, in men’s volleyball, the nationals conceded the first two sets of their game but fought back with a fine third and nearly forced the tiebreak.
Bahrain led for much of set four, as an Abbas Al Khabbaz block gave the nationals an 18- 14 advantage.
But the South Koreans crawled back and took a 23-22 lead with a Kyumin Kim defensive stop.
After Mohammed Yaqoob tied it once more for the Bahrainis, the South Koreans closed things out assisted by successive errors from Bahrain.
Team captain Naser Anan finished as the leading scorer with 19 points, while Ali Ebrahim added 18.
Al Khabbaz contributed nine points in the loss, while Mahmood Alafyah, Sayed Hashem Issa and Hussain Mahdi each chipped in with five markers.
The Bahrainis will now play for 12th overall on the final classification in their concluding fixture today at the Hangzhou Asiad.
They are set to face off with Chinese-Taipei, who lost to Kazakhstan yesterday in five sets. The tie is scheduled for a 5.30am start, Bahrain time.