The two sides join Iran and UAE who had already secured qualification to the quarter-finals after a dramatic Matchday 3
Matchday 3 of the AFC Beach Soccer Asian Cup started with plenty of drama as hosts Thailand clinched their group’s lead in epic fashion. IR Iran defeated the UAE in the discussion for the first place of group B.
Saudi Arabia were leading 3-0 against Afghanistan in the first period, but the Afghans turned the game around in just eight minutes in the second period. The Saudis managed to react and take the match to penalties where they won 4-2, earning a point, which meant that for them to go through, they needed Bahrain not to lose against Thailand on regular time or extra time.
But with the support of the home crowd, the Thais faced Bahrain determined to go through and Tanandon Praracha set off the first eruption of joy in Pattaya in the second period by scoring the opener. The match was only decided in the final minute as Watchara Lepajit signed the final 2-0, a result that puts Thailand top of the group, going through with the same number of points as second-placed Bahrain.
The United Arab Emirates equalised against the Islamic Republic of Iran after being two goals down, but the Iranians kept their composure and went on to win 7-2 with Mahdi Shirmohammadi netting a brace, in a match that defined the group leaders as both teams had already secured the qualification to the quarter-finals.
In the other match of the group, Uzbekistan beat Malaysia 6-2, with braces from Jamshid Rasulov and Mamasharif Khalimov.
RESULTS – Matchday 3 (20/03)
Afghanistan (2)4-4(4) Saudi Arabia
Thailand 2-0 Bahrain
Malaysia 2-6 Uzbekistan
United Arab Emirates 2-7 IR Iran
FIXTURES – Matchday 3 (21/03)
China – Indonesia
Japan – Lebanon
Kuwait – Kyrgyz Republic
Oman – Palestine