Bahrain ready for mini-training camp in Ukraine | THE DAILY TRIBUNE
TDT | Manama
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
Bahrain’s senior men’s national football team will be on a five-day trip to Ukraine later this month, where they will play an international friendly against their European hosts on May 23.
This was confirmed yesterday by a team official, who said the Bahraini team will be in Kiev from May 20-24.
During this period, they will face their Ukrainian counterparts at the Metalist Oblast Sports Complex stadium in the city of Kharkiv.
The match will be part of both teams’ preparations for their upcoming international matches, which Bahrainis say will include their final joint qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup and the 2023 AFC Asian Cup.
The friendly against Ukraine is the first of two in the last week of May.
They will also face Malaysia at home on May 28.
Bahrain, coached by Portuguese tactician Helio Sousa, is expected to start a local training camp on May 15 before flying to Europe.
Sousa has yet to name the squad he will call up for this crucial period, as Bahrain’s final three joint qualifiers are set to take place in June.
They will be played in the Kingdom after the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) designates Bahrain as the centralized site for Group C, which also includes Iraq, Iran, Cambodia and Hong Kong.
Bahrain is set to face Cambodia on June 3, Iran on June 7 and Hong Kong on June 15.
Bahrain is currently second in its division with nine points, having won two matches and drawn three times.
Iraq is the leader with 11 points after winning three games and drawing two more times.
Iran are third with six points, but have only played three matches so far and have two wins and two losses.
Hong Kong and Cambodia completed the Group C table with five points and one point respectively.
There are eight groups in all in this qualifying round, with five nations in each group.
The other centralized sites selected by the AFC are China for group A, Kuwait for group B, Saudi Arabia for group D, Qatar for group E, Japan for group F, the Arab Emirates united for group G and South Korea for group H.
At the end of this qualifying stage, the eight group winners and the four best runners-up advance to the third qualifying round for the World Cup, and also secure their places in the Asian Cup.
The following top 24 teams will face off in a separate competition for the remaining 12 Asian Cup places.