Bahrainis gear up for Japan showdown.BAHRAIN'S national soccer team yesterday kicked off their preparations for their Asian Cup qualifier against Japan on Wednesday.
The Bahrainis, coached by Czech tactician Milan Macala, began training with a 25-player squad at the Bahrain Football Association (BFA BFA
Bachelor of Fine Arts
abbr BFA, B.F.A
Bachelor of Fine Arts; first degree in Fine Arts. ) pitches in Riffa.
The Japanese team arrived in the kingdom yesterday, and are staying at the Diplomat-Radisson SAS (1) (SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC, www.sas.com) A software company that specializes in data warehousing and decision support software based on the SAS System. Founded in 1976, SAS is one of the world's largest privately held software companies. See SAS System. Hotel in Manama.
The visitors, coached by Takeshi Okada Takeshi Okada (岡田 武史 Okada Takeshi, born 25 August, 1956) is a retired Japanese football player and currently a football manager.
He played for the Japan national football team (27 matches/1 goal). , are missing star player Shunsuke Nakamura Editing of this page by unregistered or newly registered users is currently disabled until (UTC) due to vandalism. , who inspired them to a 3-2 victory the last time they played in Bahrain during in a Fifa World Cup qualifying match last September.
Also absent in Bahrain are Daisuke Matsui, Makoto Hasebe Makoto Hasebe (Japanese: 長谷部誠, born January 18, 1984 in Shimada, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan) is a Japanese football player. , Yoshito Okubo Yoshito Okubo (Japanese: 大久保嘉人, born June 9, 1982, Kanda, Fukuoka) is a Japanese football player. He is a forward and currently plays for Vissel Kobe. .
Okada named 25 players for the Bahrain tie, including Yasuhito Endo, Yokohama Marinos, Yuji Nakazawa, Keiji Tamada, Junichi Inamoto, and Keisuke Honda, to name a few.
Bahrain, meanwhile, will be boosted by the return of Mahmood Abdulrahman and Abdulla Al Dakheel, who missed their opening qualifying match against Hong Kong Hong Kong (hŏng kŏng), Mandarin Xianggang, special administrative region of China, formerly a British crown colony (2005 est. pop. 6,899,000), land area 422 sq mi (1,092 sq km), adjacent to Guangdong prov. last week.
Right back Mohammed Hubail, however, is now doubtful after breaking his nose during practices last night, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. team manager Hassan Khalfan.
The home side are expected to utilise many of their veteran stars, such as Salman Issa, Hussain Baba, Mohammed Salmeen, Abdulla Fatai, Abdulla Ismail Omar, Ismail Abdullateef, Sayed Mohammed Adnan, Faouzi Aaish, and top goalkeeper Sayed Mohammed Jaffar, among others. Macala also hopes to continue using some of his young internationals.
Both Bahrain and Japan are currently tied on points atop qualifying group 'A', with Bahrain classified first due to a superior goal difference. The nationals won against Hong Kong 3-1, while Japan ousted Yemen 2-1 at home in their opener.
Wednesday's match will be played at the National Stadium in Riffa. It will be the fourth meeting between the two countries in the last two years alone, with Bahrain winning just one of the three earlier contests.
The game will not be televised live on Japanese TV - the first for the national team in an 'A' international fixture in over a decade, according to the Yomiuri Shimbun citing Japan Football Association managing director Kozo Tashima. The report said that the last time such a match was not televised live was in February of 1998.
Asian Cup qualifying, which consists of five groups in all, is scheduled to end in March of 2010. Only the top two teams from each group make it to the Asian Cup finals, which will be played in Doha in 2011.
Copyright 2009 Gulf Daily News
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