Bahrain have emerged as the champions of West Asia as they defeated hosts Iraq 1-0 in the final of the WAFF Championship 2019 at the Karbala Sports City on Wednesday.
In a tightly contested final in front of a full capacity home crowd, Bahrain broke the Iraqi hearts with a solitary strike from Isa Moosa Ali in the 39th minute to their maiden West Asian regional title.
Bahrain are sixth different winner of the competition which began in 2000 and just concluded its ninth edition in Iraq.
المنتخب البحريني يتوج بكأس "الحسين" https://t.co/NWX5YuqNiA
— West Asian Football Federation (@waffootball) August 15, 2019
After going down towards the later stages of the first half, Srečko Katanec’s men searched desperately for an equaliser in the reminder of the game. But the Bahrain defence stood strong and gave the hosts little to work with as they held on for a fourth consecutive clean sheet in the tournament.
Bahrainis had defeated Jordan and Kuwait by 1-0 scorelines while holding Saudi Arabia to a goalless draw in the group stages while Iraq had recorded three wins and a draw in their group as they progressed to the final ahead of Palestine, Yemen, Lebanon and Syria.
The win also means a dream start as Bahrain’s new head coach for Portuguese tactician Helio Sousa who guides the nation to their first regional title in his first tournament in charge.