Bahrainis kick off preparations for Japan clash
TDT | Manama
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
Bahrain’s senior men’s national football team continued their preparations last night for their round of 16 match against Japan on Wednesday in the AFC Asian Cup in Doha.
The Bahrainis trained at Qatar University Stadium under the supervision of head coach Juan Antonio Pizzi.
It was their first on-pitch session since their 1-0 victory over Jordan on Thursday which sealed their historic participation in the competition’s knockout stage.
The nationals were given a day of rest on Friday.
Bahrain’s game with Japan will be played at Al Thumama Stadium, with a 2.30pm kick-off, Bahrain time.
Of the squad’s 26 players at the Qatari capital, 16 are making their debut in the AFC Asian Cup, according to the Bahrain Football Association.
They include goalkeeper Ebrahim Luthfallah, Amin Benadi, Salem Hussain, Abdulla Al Khalasi, Hazza Ali, Mohammed Adel, Hussain Al Aker, Mohammed Al Hardan, Moses Atede, Jassim Khelaif, Ebrahim Al Wali, Mohammed Abdulqayoom, Mohammed Abdulwahab, Ali Hassan Saeed, Abdulla Al Hashash and Ebrahim Al Khattal.
Bahrain advanced to the knockouts as the winners of Group E in the preliminary stage with six points from two wins.
South Korea and Jordan also made it through from their pool, while Malaysia were eliminated.
Bahrain are making their seventh appearance in the AFC Asian Cup, having qualified for the tournament’s sixth straight edition.
Their best finish to date was fourth overall in the 2004 event held in China.