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Dushanbe: Bahrain beat Iraq 4-0 on Wednesday to end their AFC Women’s Asian Cup Group A qualifying campaign on a distinct high.

The win was Bahrain’s second of the tournament and leaves them third in the group with eight points, some distance ahead of rock-bottom Iraq who will be eager to consign their five successive defeats to the history books.

With Iraq looking to grab at least a point in their final outing, Adil Qader’s charges started brightly at Dushanbe’s Republican Central Stadium, Sipal Shukur Rasheed unleashing a powerful tenth minute free-kick from outside the area which Bahrain goalkeeper Nouf Al Khalifa reacted well to save.

Pre-match favourites Bahrain responded well, with livewire midfielder Deena shooting wide following a pinpoint Reem Aldaaysi cross, and Alanood Hamad Alkhalifa directing a header narrowly wide of the target.

Their pressure was to pay dividends twice before the break however, Reem Yusuf Masood Salem Alhashmi firing home after a fine run through the Iraqi defence on 31 minutes, and Deena heading home a corner ten minutes later.

Iraq dug deep after the break, but were powerless to prevent Bahrain extending their lead yet again courtesy of a firm Deena shot from distance with 71 minutes on the clock.

Three was to become four in the 80th minute, as Fayez Tobellah successfully converted a penalty to crown what was an impressive Bahrain display.


Bahrain head coach Khaled Mohamed Harban:
"We had a very good tournament, finishing on eight points. I have some great players and we almost made it to the finals in Jordan. I want to thank all my team, the AFC, the local organisers and everyone involved for this experience.”


Iraq head coach Adil Qader:
“My team were okay today - not great, but not terrible either. We will develop from this experience. I would also like to thank the Tajik fans here in the stadium as they were supporting us. A thank you also to those who organised this tournament.”


Photo: Tajikistan Football Federation

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