Bahrain 0-0 Saudi Arabia: No Way Through For Bahrain In First Leg Stalemate

Waleed Abdullah The first leg of Asia’s World Cup play-off between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia on Saturday night finished goalless.

Bahrain dominated the contest at the National Stadium in Manama but were unable to find a way past Saudi Arabia goalkeeper Waleed Adbullah who was in inspired form.

And when the shotstopper was beaten, as he was with a deflected shot in injury time, the woodwork came to the rescue in an entertaining goalless draw.

The action moves to Riyadh for Wednesday’s second leg. The winner will face New Zealand in October and November with a place in the World Cup at stake.

Saudi Arabia now just have to win at the King Fahd Stadium to move closer to a fifth successive place on the global stage.

Husain Ali almost put the hosts ahead after just six minutes but Abdullah Al Dossary cleared off the line.

That set the scene for much of the match and goalkeeper Adbullah, who was also impressive in the final round of qualification, saved from Abdulla Omar in the first half while Malek Maaz went close for the visitors who struggled to find their fluency amid a busy Bahrain performance.

Although Yasser Al Qahtani asked questions of the Bahrain backline, Saudi Arabia’s best chance came with three minutes remaining.

Substitute Nassir Al Shamrani created a good chance for himself in the area before firing a shot straight at the Bahrain goalkeeper.

The Saudi goalkeeper came into his own in the final minutes making two spectacular saves from substitute striker Jaycee John – and the hosts also hit the crossbar -to make sure that both teams go to Riyadh on level terms.


~ by footballdirecta on September 6, 2009.

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