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Al Romaihi’s goal helps Bahrain past Tajikistan

Dubai: A lone strike from Mohammed Al Romaihi helped Bahrain secure a 1-0 friendly win against Tajikistan at Dubai Police Officers Club Stadium on Saturday.

Delivered in the shadows of half-time, Al Romaihi’s goal was enough to separate the two sides, handing Hélio Sousa’s side a win in their first international match of 2020.

The clash was the first of extended Dubai training camps for both sides, who will each play additional matches in the next week and a half.

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Appearing for the first time since their 2019 Gulf Cup final victory against Saudi Arabia, it was the same man who provided the matchwinner, with Al Romaihi finding the back of the net in the 44th minute.

Benefiting from a fine run and pass from Mohammed Jameel, Al Romaihi slammed the ball beyond Tajik goalkeeper Rustam Yatmov and into the roof of the net from 12 yards.

Eager to make the most of a rare opportunity on the international stage in a pandemic-hit 2020, both sides made several personnel changes in the second half, but there was no addition to the scoreboard, with Bahrain remaining unbeaten in five matches against the Central Asians.

Tajikistan head coach Usmon Toshev said his young side took time to settle into the match and would be better for the experience.

Based on this game, I think that the guys need to play more, and get more international experience,” said the Uzbekistan national. “Bahrain are a good, organised team. They are the champions of the Arab countries and I think we played very well, thanks to the guys."

“The first half was a little worrying; it didn't work out somewhere. There were technical mistakes, we conceded a goal and lost the positions of our two central midfielders. We played for the first time in this system and in this pair with Mumin (Zabirov) and Amirbek (Juraboev).

“In the second half they rebuilt a little, worked out what to pay attention to, but couldn’t score. I think it wasn’t a bad game.”

Tajikistan will complete their Dubai camp when they face the UAE on Thursday, the same day Bahrain face Lebanon, before the Reds also meet the Emiratis on November 16.

Photos: Tajikistan Football Federation

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