Qualifiers - Group A: Kuwait shine, Bahrain held by UAE
Manama: Kuwait surged to the top of the Group A standings while hosts Bahrain and United Arab Emirates played to a draw in their opening qualifying matches for the AFC Futsal Championship Turkmenistan 2020 on Wednesday.
Kuwait turned on the power in the second half to defeat Palestine 7-1 while Bahrain and UAE played to a thrilling 3-3 draw at the Khalifa Sports City Stadium in Manama.
The top two teams from Groups A and B will qualify for next February's Finals, and the respective third place finishers will meet in a play-off match to determine the final ticket from the West Zone.
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Kuwait 7-1 Palestine
Kuwait enjoyed a dream start as Abdulrahman Alwadi gave them the lead in the second minute, with the forward finding the back of the net again three minutes later.
Palestine, however, steadied themselves and neither side was able to add to the scoreline for the remainder of the first half.
It was Alwadi again who widened his side's lead in the 23rd minute and that set off a blitz of goals and by the 27th minute, Kuwait were 6-1 up with Palestine's Husam Hamed scoring an own goal in the 26th minute with Yousef Alkhalifah and Naser Alalban adding one each.
Forward Adham Khwailed scored Palestine's consolation goal but Abdulrahman Altawil had the final say as he netted Kuwait's seventh goal in the 33rd minute.
Kuwait will play UAE on Thursday while Palestine will face Iraq.
UAE 3-3 Bahrain
It was a thriller in Group A's second match of the day as UAE came from 3-1 down to hold Bahrain 3-3.
Captain Mohamed Radhi Alsandi gave the home side the lead in the eighth minute as both sides played a high intensity game.
As the action swung end to end, UAE were awarded a penalty in the 18th minute, which forward Abdalla Mohamed duly converted.
Bahrain dictated the pace in the second half and were rewarded two minutes into the restart as Alsandi scored his second of the match.
Ahmed Abdulnabi further widened Bahrain's lead in the 25th minute as the home side looked set to take the points.
That, however, was not to be the case as two goals seconds apart salvaged UAE a point with Abdulkarim Jamil Hezam and Wael Mohamed's efforts in the 31st minute denying Bahrain a winning start.
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