Bahrain ended their disappointing Asian Cup campaign with a 2-1 win over Qatar in front of less than 5,000 fans at Sydney’s Stadium Australia.
The dead rubber saw the tournament’s smallest crowds thus far, standing in stark contrast to the the Iran-UAE match in Brisbane which was played simultaneously.
Qatar missed a prime chance to score early when Mohammed Muntari’s header struck the woodwork, denying the Ghanian-born striker his first goal of the tournament.
Bahrain took the lead in the 35th minute when Sayad Dhiya maneuvered his way into the box and sent a rifle of a shot past Qatari goalkeeper Qasem Burhan.
23 minutes into the second half, Hassan Khalid equalized when his free kick snuck under the wall and into the net.
In the end it was Sayed Ahmed, assisted by the same Faouzi Aaish who assisted Dhiya’s first goal, who gave the game to the Bahrainis with a long-range rocket from far outside the box.
The result in Sydney preserves the 2015 Asian Cup’s recently-set world record for a continental or greater tournament, with 22 games having elapsed without a single draw.
While Bahrain can at least take one win from their campaign, Qatar’s three losses could potentially affect their seeding for the AFC’s 2018 World Cup qualification tournament.