Qatar lose to Bahrain in AFC Cup
SYDNEY: Qatar ended their AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 campaign with a third consecutive defeat with a 1-2 scoreline to Bahrain at Stadium Australia on Monday.
Neither team had any chance of advancing to the knockout rounds after losing their opening matches against Iran and the United Arab Emirates.
The win ensures Bahrain finish third in Group C of the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015, but they were comprehensively outplayed by the Qataris for large periods of the game and the 2011 tournament hosts will have gone into the halftime break wondering how they had not found the back of the net.
Misfortune cost the Gulf Cup champions on more than one occasion, with Mohammed Muntari twice going close, the first when he steered the ball just wide of Hamad Al Dosari’s goal in the 20th minute and the second, four minutes later, when his header from Al Haydos’ free kick came back off the post.
In the 33rd minute, Al Haydos saw his shot cleared off the line by Abdulwahab Ali while, as the half entered the dying minutes, both Muntari and Boualem Khoukhi failed to find the back of the net.
With 11 minutes remaining in the half, however, Sayd Dia gave Bahrain the lead when Faouzi Aaish slalomed past two Qatari defenders before cutting the ball back to Dia, who steadied himself before sliding a left foot shot over the line.
Qatar continued to pick holes in the Bahrain backline into the second half, with Ali Asadalla evading the defence thanks to a one-two with Muntari, only to hit goalkeeper Hamad Al Doseri with his shot.
Midway through the half, though, the Qataris finally claimed the goal their possession play deserved when Al Haydos – their star performer on the evening – struck a low free kick that went under the Bahraini wall as it jumped before beating the keeper to his right.
Another pair of missed opportunities from Muntari continued to frustrate the Qataris and, as the young striker grew increasingly despondent, he and his team mates were punished in the harshest manner possible when Jaafar scored the winner with just eight minutes remaining.