*** ----> Bahrainis outclass Nepal | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Bahrainis outclass Nepal

TDT | Manama                                                      

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Bahrain last night boosted their chances of advancing in FIFA World Cup 2026 qualification and securing their berth in the AFC Asian Cup 2027 following a 3-0 victory over Nepal at the National Stadium in Riffa.

Three players were on target for the Bahrainis in the contest, including Sayed Mahdi Baqer, Abdulla Yusuf, and Komail Al Aswad—all in the opening half.

It was the national team’s second successive victory over their Nepali counterparts in under a week’s time, adding to their 5-0 drubbing of the visitors last Thursday night at the same venue.

With the result, Bahrain improved to nine points on the Group H standings of the joint-qualifiers and took one step closer to marching through to the third round of FIFA World Cup qualifying and ensuring their place in the AFC Asian Cup 2027.

They still have two matches to play, both in June—first against Yemen at home on June 6 and then against the UAE away on June 11.

The Emiratis are currently in first place in their pool with 12 points, and have already punched their tickets to the next stage of the World Cup qualifiers while securing their Asian Cup spot.

They beat the Yemenis in last night’s other Group H contest, played in Khobar, Saudi Arabia.

Bahrain’s win yesterday maintained the fine start for national team head coach Dragan Talajic, who was at the helm of the Kingdom’s squad for only his second official match.

Just like in their previous contest against Nepal, the nationals needed only a few minutes from kick-off to get onto the scoresheet.

Baqer opened their account in the seventh minute off a corner that was not cleared.

His shot from close range took a deflection off Nepal defender Ananta Tamang and went into the right of the net.

In the 16th minute, the hosts were awarded a penalty after Mohammed Jassim Marhoon was brought down in the box by Nepal’s goalkeeper Kiran Kumar Limbu.

The stopper had just saved a shot from Al Aswad on a quick counter, but the ball rebounded towards Marhoon, whom he brought down with his challenge.

Yusuf stepped up to take the spot kick and he coolly converted into the bottom-right corner. Mahdi Humaidan had a good opportunity to add to the score line in the 29th minute off a back-heeled pass from Yusuf, but he shot directly at Limbu.

Al Aswad then made no mistake with his effort in the 36th, scoring on a one-on-one with Limbu after being released with a brilliant one-touch pass from Marhoon to make it 3-0.

In the second half, a header from substitute Hussain Abdulkarim in the 64th minute was punched away, and then he could not take advantage of a one-on-one with Limbu minutes later.

Ebrahim Al Khattal also had a header late on collected by the goalkeeper, and then Abdulkarim shot just over the crossbar with a minute to go in regular time.

Ahmed Al Sherooqi also came close in injury time as Bahrain cruised to the final whistle. There are five rounds in the FIFA World Cup qualification format for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), which will have eight teams book their tickets to the global showcase, plus potentially another following an inter-confederation play-off.