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Preview MD3 - Group A: Bahrain vs Australia

Bangkok: Graham Arnold wants his players to go into their Group A clash with Bahrain at the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 on Tuesday mentally refreshed as they seek the draw that will take the Olyroos into the quarter-finals and keep alive hopes of a place at the Tokyo Olympics.

Arnold’s team followed up an opening round draw against Iraq with a 2-1 win over tournaments hosts Thailand and those results mean a point will be enough to secure a last eight berth for the Australians.

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There are three tickets for Tokyo 2020 available at the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 and the Australians are attempting to qualify for the Olympics for the first time since 2008.



“The message to the players and our game plan for every match is to believe in yourselves and to go out and win every game,” said Arnold, who saw Nicholas D’Agostino score twice in the win over Akira Nishino’s Thai team on Saturday evening.

“We expected to win the first game against Iraq, but those things happen in football. We’ve had a great win [against Thailand] but the most important thing now is that the game is over.

#AFCU23 - MD2 Group A: Australia 2-1 Thailand

“We can’t do anything more about it now as it is history. What we can do though, is prepare ourselves for the game against Bahrain. So it’s important that we recover well and mentally clear the brain in order to be ready for the next game.”

Bahrain bounced back from their 5-0 thrashing at the hands of the Thais in their first game of the competition to take a point from their meeting with the Iraqis, leaving Samir Chammam and his team needing to win against the Australians to advance.

Victory would move the west Asian side onto four points and ahead of Australia with a better head-to-head record while only one of Thailand or Iraq could finish above Chammam’s team no matter the result of their clash at Rajamanagala Stadium.

#AFCU23 - MD2 Group A: Bahrain 2-2 Iraq

“We have one more match and all we can try to do is win it so that we get to four points and then we have to hope that we can qualify,” said the Tunisian coach.

“For the game against Iraq we were focused on the mental side and we prepared the players mentally.

“But for Australia we will have to focus on the fitness side and prepare the players physically and we will try to get our last chance in the group to get the three points so we can qualify for the second round.”

Bahrain v Australia
Venue: Thammasat Stadium (Pathum Thani)
Kick-off: 20:15 (UTC +7)

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