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BAHRAIN EDGE OUT QATARIS.

FAOUZI ish lifted Bahrain to a well-deserved 1-0 victory over visiting Qatar last night to claim their second win in as many matches in qualifying for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup soccer.

ish scored the game's lone goal in the 21st minute after collecting a long pass from teammate Hussain Baba and sending the ball home from close range.

His strike was enough to separate the Gulf rivals in a clash between group 'D' favourites.

Bahrain moved to the top of their division standings with the result, while Qatar dropped to second place.

Both teams still have four matches remaining in the qualification process, which is only scheduled to resume in October.

In yesterday's other group 'D' game in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia defeated Yemen 2-1 to claim their first win of the qualifiers.

Substitute Khyril Muhymeen headed in a late winner for the home side.

Aiman Al Hagri put Yemen in the lead early on but then Azammuddin Norshahrul levelled the proceedings before the break.

The Malaysians captured their maiden victory and are tied with the Qataris on three points.

In Bahrain's win, the nationals put on a fine performance on both ends of the pitch and were overall the better side in the game.

Dependable

Anchored by captain Mohammed Hussain and the always dependable Baba on the back line, the hosts were rock solid defensively and goalkeeper Sayed Mohammed Jaffar had his own impressive outing, marking his return to international duty after nursing a recent injury with a well-deserved clean sheet.

ish scored in the opening half with a brilliant display of individual skill. The talented midfielder brilliantly collected a long pass from Baba from beyond the centre circle, and then set himself up to score from close range on the left of goal.

Despite pressure from his marker, ish made no mistake with his right-footed effort and Qatar goalkeeper Sd Al Sheeb was left powerless to stop it.

Bahrain were unlucky not to have added to their lead before the interval. In the 31st minute, Abdulwahab Al Malood had a chance from inside the area but his shot went above the crossbar, as did ish's right before the half-time whistle.

Sebastian Soria and Khalfan Ibrahim Khalfan also had opportunities for the Qataris, but Bahrain's Jaffar was up to the task. Jaffar first saved a glancing header from close range by Soria, and later in the half also did well to stop a powerful shot by Khalfan

Chances were few and far between in the final 45 minutes for both teams.

Sami Al Hossaini had Bahrain's best shot in the 84th minute, but his effort was deflected for a corner.

Qatar's top opportunity was on a free kick by Khalfan from 20 yards out in the 78th minute, but he sent his shot over the crossbar.

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Geographic Code:7BAHR
Date:Mar 23, 2013
Words:482
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