Qualifiers - Group E: Perfect starts for Jordan, Bahrain
Manama: Jordan and group hosts Bahrain both made terrific starts to their AFC U-19 Championship Uzbekistan qualifying campaigns, earning 3-0 wins over Bhutan and Bangladesh respectively at Khalifa Sports City Stadium on Wednesday.
A blistering opening half-hour powered Jordan to victory, while two goals from Abdulrahman Sayed Mohamed helped Bahrain to a commanding win in the later match.
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Jordan 3-0 Bhutan
Strong favourites coming into the match, Jordan took just 14 minutes to take control of the tie through Rezio Mohammed Bani Hani, whose early goal put them 1-0 up.
One became two 13 minutes later, when Waseem Wasef Al Ryiyalat calmly slotted home a penalty kick after a foul conceded by Pema Dhendup.
Mohannad Jehad Semreen put the result beyond doubt when he beat Bhutan goalkeeper Tenzin Dorji two minutes into the second half, but Atsushi Nakamura's side refused to fold, managing to prevent further Jordanian goals from then on.
Jordan will return to action against Bangladesh on Friday, while Bhutan face another tough assignment against group hosts Bahrain.
Bahrain 3-0 Bangladesh
Bahrain matched Jordan’s result in Wednesday’s late kick-off, scoring twice in the dying minutes to seal a 3-0 victory over Bangladesh, thanks largely to Abdulrahman Sayed Mohamed’s double.
Expected to win on home soil, Bahrain were made to work hard for their breakthrough goal, but it finally materialised through Mohamed two minutes before half-time.
Bangladesh boss Andrew Turner had promised to please the Bangladeshi fans in attendance in Manama, and his side showed certainly fight, remaining a single goal behind until Mohamed doubled his tally in the 90th minute, before Abdulla Nemer Al Mesaeed added some gloss to the tally in the sixth minute of added time.
Tajikistan have already qualified as Group C winners while Group G kicked off on Saturday. Group A of the Qualifiers - featuring Iraq, Oman, Palestine, Kuwait and Pakistan - has been postponed with new dates to be announced in due course.
The 11 group winners and four best runners-up will join hosts Uzbekistan in the 2020 Finals.
Should Uzbekistan finish either top of Group F of the Qualifiers or are among the best four second-placed teams, the fifth best runners-up will qualify.
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