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Singapore: Bahrain completed their bid to qualify for the AFC Asian Cup 2019 on Tuesday as they beat hosts, Singapore, to win 3-0 in their penultimate Group E qualifier at the National Stadium on Tuesday and secure passage to the finals in the United Arab Emirates.

A second-half brace from Mahdi Abdul Jabbar set the West Asian side on their path to qualification, with Jamal Rashed scoring in between as the hosts wilted under pressure.

Coming into the game needing a win to keep their faint qualification hopes alive, it could have been a different story for V. Sundram Moorthy’s men had they taken their chances in the opening moments.

Shawal Anuar almost drew first blood for the hosts in the opening minute when he volleyed just wide inside the box following a well-worked set-piece routine.

Irfan Fandi had Singapore’s best effort five minutes later when the centre-back sent his 35-yard free kick straight to the gloves of Bahrain goalkeeper Sayed Shubbar Ebrahim Alawi Hashem.

With Shawal withdrawn injured before the quarter hour due to injury, Bahrain took the initiative and dominated as the hosts began to sit back deep in their own area.

Following a goalless first half, the visitors almost took the lead eight minutes after the restart when Mahdi’s goal-bound header off a cross on the left was stopped by Singapore goalkeeper Hassan Sunny.

Despite the scare, the hosts failed to pay attention to the Bahrain forward’s aerial prowess and paid the price in the 65th minute. Madhi stabbed home the rebound after his initial header at the near post off another left cross was tipped away by Hassan.

Jamal netted the second for Miroslav Soukup’s men in the 81st minute when he latched on the through pass inside the box and coolly slotted the ball into the bottom right corner of the net.

Madhi sealed Bahrain’s ticket to United Arab Emirates six minutes from time when he headed home a corner inside the box for his second of the evening. 

Photos: AFC

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