Added time strike keeps Bahrain hopes alive but ends Malaysia’s campaign

January 20 – An Ali Madan goal in added time allowed Bahrain to snatch a 1-0 win over Malaysia and keep their hopes alive of reaching the last 16 of the Asian Cup alive.

It was heartbreak for the Malaysian fans who saw their team comfortably keep Bahrain out for 90 minutes before conceding a goal that diving keeper Syihan Hazmi should have got a stronger hand to.

Malaysia now can’t progress and still have to face a South Korean team needing a win and a lot of goals to take top spot in the group. Malaysia could have a very uncomfortable last group game on today’s performance.

Bahrain on the other hand have put themselves firmly in the mix of qualification to the last 16, either automatically if they beat Jordan, or as one of the four best  third placed group teams.

Malaysia head coach Kim Pan-gon restructured his defense after the 4-0 hammering by Jordan in their first group. It almost worked.

Bahrain started on the front foot but the Malaysians absorbed the Bahraini possession  and created chances on the counter.

Corbin Ong ‘s long throw-in eventually found Dion Cools who couldn’t get his shot on target. Arif Aiman missed two good chances.

Bahrain could have the lead in the 31st minute after ​​Komail Al Aswad drove into the box only to see his shot scrambled off the line by a Malaysian defender.

With the scores level at half time the game looked tailor made fro Malaysia to become more expansive in the second half and go for a win. They didn’t and ultimately the lack of attacking ambition was their downfall.

Malaysia continued to sit back defensively with two well drilled banks of five and four keeping Bahrain at arm’s length, their only threat being a pacey counterattack.

In the 60th minite Bahrain’s Abdulla Yusef should have scopred. Unmarked in the centre of goal, he sent his header wide.

The Bahrain bench urged their team to calm down and show more composure in the final third as their final ball into the danger area looked increasing frantic.

On 72 minutes brilliant work on the right flank saw Muhamed Adel, a regular threat on the right side of Malaysia’s defence, cross to Humadoon who failed to get anything on the ball. It was another horrible miss.

Into the last 10 minutes Bahrain continued to waste the final ball as the game began to warm up for a final flurry.

Malaysia had their best chance of the match in the 88th minute, blasting a volley over the top – their only real chance of the half.

Bahrain were getting closer as the game entered added time. Ali Hasan, though on goal and with only the keeper to beat scuffed his shot into the keeper. It was the best chance of the game.

Then six minutes into added time Bahrain broke the deadlock. A corner came out to Madan on the edge of the boix who hit the ball with the outside of his foot with just enough on it to get through the hands of diving Hasmi.

Contact the writer of this story at moc.l1712961496labto1712961496ofdlr1712961496owedi1712961496sni@n1712961496osloh1712961496cin.l1712961496uap1712961496

 


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