MD2 - Group C: Cambodia 0-1 Bahrain
Phnom Penh: Kamil Al-Aswad’s 77th minute strike secured Bahrain a hard-fought 1-0 win over Cambodia in Group C of the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 at the National Olympic Stadium on Tuesday.
Cambodia and Bahrain were chasing their first win of their qualifying campaign, having settled for 1-1 draws against Hong Kong and Iraq respectively on Matchday One.
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After a tight opening 25 minutes, Bahrain came close to scoring in the 27th minute when Sami Al Husaini forced his way into the box but under pressure from the Cambodia defenders, the striker fired his effort wide.
Cambodia played an ultra defensive game and hardly threatened the visitors. Their best effort of the half came in the 33rd minute through Keo Sokpheng who sent his shot straight into the arms of Bahrain custodian Sayed Mohammed Jaffer.
Hélio Sousa’s men continued to press their opponents and came close to finding the net when Abdulla Yusuf Helal found space just above the box in the 34th minute but fired his effort high.
Helal threatened again four minutes later when he burst down the middle but his run was cut short by Sovann Ouk’s well-timed tackle and the No. 9 should have done better in the 41st minute when he missed a gaping goalmouth with a wayward header.
Cambodia continued to frustrate Bahrain in the second half as they soaked up the pressure.
Angkor Warriors’ goalkeeper Sou Yaty was on top of his game as he foiled Al Husaini’s long-range effort in the 53rd minute as well as Jasim Al Shaikh’s drive 10 minutes later.
Bahrain had another chance in the 76th minute as Al Aswad glancing header forced Sou into a fingertip save.
However, Cambodia’s resistance finally broke a minute later after Al Aswad found the back of the net when he slotted home a rebound from inside the box off a corner.
Photos: Football Federation of Cambodia
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