Bahrain grabbed their third straight win in Group A of the 2017 AFC Beach Soccer Championship after a closely fought 6-4 win over Afghanistan’s Beach Soccer Team in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia on Tuesday.
Both sides went into the game hot on the back of two encouraging wins, with Bahrain second above Afghanistan on goal difference in their five-team group.
The game was evenly contested in the opening phase until Bahrain captain Rashed Jamal opened the scoring six minutes before Hesham Ahmed doubled their advantage with a long-range strike with two minutes remaining.
The Bahrainis added their third with a quick Mohamed Ashoor strike two minutes into the second period. Jamal added his second in the game when he was one-on-one against keeper Baktash Akbari.
Afghanistan finally scored their first goal thanks to Raof Qaderi but it was only a few seconds later when Abdulla Al Malki registered the Bahrainis’ fifth following a neat interplay.
The rollercoaster continued when Murtaza Jafari added the Afghans’ second goal just before the buzzer.
The third period commenced with even more excitement as Afghan keeper Shabab Alavi also got on the score-sheet with his impressive throw-in before Qaderi’s cool header helped the Afghans come close to leveling matters.
But Bahrain finally got to smile as Salman Al Yaqoobi scored their sixth and last goal in the match to hand over the Afghans their first loss in the tournament.
Afghanistan won its two matches against Malaysia and China but lost to Iran and Bahrain. The team is now out of the competition
The top three finishers at the AFC Beach Soccer Championship will represent Asia at the 2017 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, which is scheduled to be held in in Nassau, Bahamas from April 27 to May 7.