Mohammad Al Romaihi scored a brace within four minutes towards the end of regulation period to help Bahrain secure a 3-1 win over the UAE in an international friendly played in Dubai late on Monday.
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Leading on a crisp finish from Brazil-born Caio Canedo Correa in the 33rd minute after receiving a pass from Ali Mabkhout, the UAE held out at the Zabeel Stadium till Mohammad Marhoon’s equaliser from the penalty spot in the 75th minute following a foul on Ali Madan from Sebastian Tagliabue.
As the match looked headed for a draw, it was two quick strikes from Al Rumaihi that settled the match in favour of the visitors. The quick-footed striker first intervened in the 82nd minute in front of goal to poke into the roof of the net and then four minutes later, he played a fine one-two deep on the left flank before nudging it past Khalid Eisa on the home team goal.
The two teams had last met in the preliminary round of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup in January last year and it ended in a 1-1 stalemate.
Led by their new Portuguese coach Helio Filipe de Sousa, Bahrain had been camping in the UAE for the past few days as part of their preparations and build-up ahead of the resumption of 2022 Fifa World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.
Last week, Bahrain had defeated Tajikistan by a solitary goal before securing a handy 3-1 win against Lebanon during the weekend.
The UAE played two friendly matches during the international break with their lone win coming through a 3-2 result against Tajikistan last Thursday.
The UAE are currently fourth in Group G of the Asian Qualifiers with two victories from four matches while Bahrain are second in Group C with nine points from five games. The next round of qualifiers are expected to commence in March next year, as per the tentative schedule released by world governing body FIFA.
The team will now return to their clubs where they will continue with Round Six of the Arabian Gulf League (AGL) later this week.
Meanwhile, Baha Faisal’s first half goal was enough for a 10-man Jordan to beat Syria 1-0 in their international friendly match played in Sharjah. This was the first win for Jordan since defeating Chinese Taipei 5-0 in the Asian Qualifiers for Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 in November last year.
On the other hand, this was the first loss for Syria under their new head coach Nabil Maaloul. Syria had defeated Uzbekistan 1-0 last Thursday.
Jordan had a bright start to the match, opening the scoring in the 13th minute as Ihsan Haddad finished a good run on the left by sending in a cross that Faisal headed home past Syrian goalkeeper Taha Moosa.
But, Faisal turned from hero to villain four minutes before the break as he received a second yellow card after an elbowing incident on Faris Arnaout. Syria, however, failed to take advantage of their numerical superiority as Jordan held on for the win.
As of now, Syria are on top of Group A with five wins from as many matches, while Jordan are third in Group B with ten points from five matches.
In another development, South Korea will go ahead with their friendly against Qatar in Vienna, Austria later on Tuesday despite finding a new COVID-19 coronavirus case among their contingent while bringing the total number of positive cases to eight.
Tottenham Hotspur’s star striker Son Heung-min and the rest of the Korean squad had already been confined to their Vienna hotel rooms, when not training, after six players and a staff member had tested positive after landing in Austria earlier this week.
Jordan 1 Syria 0
UAE 1 Bahrain 3
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