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Bahrain deserved the win, says matchwinner Al Hardan


Manama: Bahrain matchwinner Mohamad Al Hardan believes his side thoroughly deserved Tuesday’s dramatic 1-0 win over the Islamic Republic of Iran in Group C of the Asian Qualifiers.

Al Hardan held his nerve to convert a decisive 65th minute penalty as Bahrain secured their second victory of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Cup China 2023 qualifying campaign.

With Iraq leading the way following their 4-0 defeat of Cambodia, the result sent Bahrain to second in the group standings, while Iran – reeling from their first World Cup qualifying loss in 24 matches – are third.

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“It was a very difficult match,” said a delighted Al Hardan who currently plays his club football in Greece.

“We were the better side and achieved a deserved victory. The players were at their best tonight as were the fans who supported us throughout the match. They put a lot of pressure on our opponents.

“We have not qualified yet of course. It was an important victory, but we still have a lot of difficult matches ahead.

“We have to improve in those matches in order to continue winning and qualify.”

Bahrain’s next test comes in the shape of a trip to Hong Kong on November 14, the same day as table-topping Iraq face neighbours Iran in Basra.

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