Bahrain to strive for win: Pizzi
TDT | Manama
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
Bahrain will strive to win their match tonight against a formidable opponent in the UAE, senior men’s national team head coach Juan Antonio Pizzi said yesterday.
The Argentinian tactician was speaking in his pre-game Press conference ahead of the nationals’ Group H continental qualifier for the FIFA World Cup 2026.
The contest is scheduled for a 6.45pm kick-off at the National Stadium in Riffa, and it will be both teams’ second fixture in their pool in this second round of qualification under the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).
Pizzi noted that his team will respect the UAE but will play to win.
Having coached in the Emirates at the club level, he said that he knows of their players’ strengths and is ready for the challenge.
Pizzi also stressed that Bahrain are a team with quality, and that he has chosen his squad according to the players’ readiness and his plan.
Meanwhile, Bahrain defender Amine Hasan added that their preparations have gone well and that there is positivity and focus on their squad ahead of tonight’s game.
Hasan added that the UAE are a big team but the Bahrainis have entered these qualifiers with a look towards the future and to qualifying for the FIFA World Cup 2026.
Tonight’s match follows Bahrain’s 2-0 win over Yemen in their opening Group H contest last week, while the UAE were 4-0 victors over Nepal.
It is also a qualifying affair for the AFC Asian Cup 2027.
Bahrain Football Association (BFA) president Shaikh Ali bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Khalifa attended a team practice session last night at the game venue and met with the coaching staff and players.
Shaikh Ali was accompanied by BFA vice-president His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Ali bin Isa Al Khalifa.
Also taking place yesterday was the pre-match technical meeting, where the uniforms for both sides were presented. There are 30 of the Kingdom’s top talents on Pizzi’s squad.
They include Ali Madan, Mohammed Marhoon, Abdulla Yusuf, Moses Atede, Mahdi Humaidan, Ahmed Bughammar, Mohammed Adel, Mohammed Al Hardan, Abdulkarim Al Fardan, Ali Hassan, Sayed Mahdi Baqer, Hussain Al Aker, Komail Al Aswad, Jassim Al Shaikh, Mohammed Abdulqayoom, Hazza Ali, Sayed Mohammed Jaafar, Amine Hasan, Waleed Al Hayyam, Abdulla Al Khalasi, Mubarak Mohammed, Ebrahim Luthfallah, Abdulla Al Hashash, Ebrahim Al Khattal, Mohammed Abdulwahab, Ebrahim Al Wali, Salem Hussain, Hussain Abdulkareem, Hamad Al Doseri and Jassim Khelaif.
There are five rounds in the FIFA World Cup qualification format for the AFC, which will have eight teams book their tickets to the global showcase, plus potentially another following an inter-confederation play-off.
Thirty-six nations are directly in this second stage, divided into nine groups of four.
The teams will play against each other on a home-and-away basis. The nine group winners and group runners-up advance to the third round.
In addition to this, they will also automatically qualify for the AFC Asian Cup 2027.
Team officials present their squad’s uniforms for tonight’s qualifier
Bahrain players during their training session at the National Stadium