Lebanon, Iraq enjoy opening day
Kuala Lumpur: Lebanon and Iraq recorded convincing wins in their respective groups in their AFC U20 Futsal Championship Thailand 2019 West Zone Qualifiers on Thursday.
Divided into two groups, the six teams in the West Zone are competing for three available spots to the region. Winners of their respective groups are assured spots in the Thailand 2019 Finals, while the teams in second-place will move on to a play-off, where the the winners will advance to the Finals.
KUWAIT 2-7 LEBANON
Al Fujairah City: Lebanon turned on the power in the second half to ensure a great start to their qualifying campaign, beating Kuwait 7-2 at the Fujairah Stadium.
The first 10 minutes of the game saw both sides trading blows but it was Lebanon who broke the deadlock through Hussein Hamieh in the 12th minute before Jamal Selwan doubled their lead five minutes later to take a two-goal lead into the break.
Further goals from Majd Hamouj and Nabih Charbel Harfouche, as well as efforts from Jamal Selwan in the 27th, 29th and 30th minutes put Lebanon far ahead of their opponents but a goal from Abdalmahsen Alteeqi on 32 minutes made sure that Kuwait would at least deny Lebanon a clean sheet.
Georgio El Khoury regained Lebanon’s five-goal lead a minute from time but teammate Hassan Shebab’s own goal ended proceedings.
Kuwait will need to win their game against Saudi Arabia on Friday if they are to keep their hopes of making the top of the group alive.
BAHRAIN 1-5 IRAQ
Iraq raced off the blocks and found the net after two minutes through Ali Abdullah Lami’s effort and quickly scored their second through Hussein Abdulhakeem Amer in the fourth minute.
Ali Talib Muhammed’s charges scored their third through Hussein Ali Al Rubaye in the 16th minute to give Iraq a commanding 3-0 lead.
Bahrain countered and pressured their opponents at the back and were rewarded with a penalty and Sayed Adnan Almukhtar made no mistake from the spot in the 18th minute.
Iraq, the 2017 runners-up, furthered their advantage after the break as Yaseen Hussein Al-mohammedawi added two more goals in the 25th and 34th to seal an emphatic win.
Bahrain continue their campaign against United Arab Emirates on Friday.
Photos: United Arabs Emirates Football Association