Bahrain’s Hardan motivated despite exit
Bangkok: Bahrain’s AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 campaign may have ended at the group stage but midfielder Mohamed Hardan hopes this will be the springboard for future generations to excel on the Continental stage.
The 5-0 defeat to Thailand in their opening Group A clash meant Bahrain faced a difficult route to progress to the knockout stage and subsequent draws with Iraq and Australia meant an early end to their campaign.
While Hardan was disappointed with the outcome, he felt that Bahrain could stand tall as they gave the tournament their best.
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“We didn’t start the tournament well,” admitted the Bahrain skipper to the-AFC.com.
“We lost three points in the first game, and we drew two games. Even if we won the last game (against Australia) we only had a slim chance of reaching the knockout stage."
“In the second game, we did what we wanted to do but couldn’t do it in the last game. This is football.
“However, I am proud because we fought for our national team and gave everything. We took only two points and I hope that the next U-23 team will do better than us.”
Although Bahrain’s Tokyo Olympics dream may be over, the experience of playing against Asia’s best has spurred Hardan and his teammates’ desire to improve.
“We played against very good teams and this experience will help us improve and hopefully, we can contribute to the senior national team in the future.”
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