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Qualifiers - Group B: Bahrain, Palestine set for thrilling decider

Sunday, March 24, 2019
Bahrain-Sri Lanka1

Manama: Bahrain and Palestine will square off on Tuesday to decide who gets the automatic ticket from Group B of the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 Qualifiers after both registered wins on Sunday.

Both West Asian teams will head into the deciding tie needing a win as they are not only tied on six points but also on goal difference after having beaten Bangladesh and Sri Lanka with identical scores.

Palestine, having defeated Sri Lanka 9-0 on Matchday One, beat Bangladesh 1-0 on Sunday. Bahrain matched Palestine's result as they shipped nine past Sri Lanka, having had to work hard to see off Bangladesh 1-0 on Friday.

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Bahrain, who played the day's later match, were a team in a hurry for goals against Sri Lanka as head coach Samir Chammam's men turned on the power from the first blow of the referee's whistle.

Aware that goal difference could prove crucial in deciding who would advance to the Finals, Bahrain's rush for goals started in the 14th minute with Mohamed Jasim Marhoon giving them the lead they craved.

Mohamed Naseem Alshamsi doubled Bahrain's lead nine minutes later and by the 31st minute, they were 4-0 up with Hashim Sayed Isa (29th) and Abdulaziz Khalid (31st) both scoring from the penalty spot.

There was to be more joy before the break as Marhoon scoring his second of the night in added time.

There was to be no respite for Sri Lanka as Bahrain continued their search for goals in the second half and just three minutes in, it was 6-0 in their favour with Ahmed Abdulrahman Alsherooqi finding the back of the net.

Ahmed Mubarak Bughammar scored Bahrain's third spot-kick of the match in the 74th minute and added his second from open play in the 80th before Hashim Sayed Isa capped off the sterling performance with the match's final goal in the 85th minute.


After their opening match high, Palestine were oozing confidence when they took to the pitch against Bangladesh, who had suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat to Bahrain on Friday.

The South Asians needed to win to keep their hopes alive and just as they had been against Bahrain, Bangladesh were resolute against Palestine.

Palestine, however, started the better of the two sides and took the lead in the 22nd minute through striker Hani Abdallah.

That, however, was to be the only goal as Bangladesh could not make any inroads in their bid to salvage the points.

Photos: Bahrain Football Association, Bangladesh Football Federation

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