An injury time winner from Mahmood Abdulrahman secured a vital 1-0 win for Bahrain in Uzbekistan and revived their hopes of claiming a place at the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ finals. The result lifted Bahrain into third spot in Group 1, level on four points with fourth-placed Qatar, who are not in action today. Uzbekistan remain bottom of the table with just one point.
After collecting just one point apiece from their three previous Group 1 games, both sides were under huge pressure for a win to keep their slim qualifying hopes alive. The hosts, spurred by a capacity crowd at Tashkent's 25,000-capacity Pakhtakor stadium, seized the initiative from the start but failed to create any genuine early chances.
Bahrain were happy to sit back, soak up the pressure and go on the counter-attack - a policy they continued even after Uzbekistan upped the tempo in a second half that seen the visitors pinned back in their own area. In the end, Uzbekistan's lack of killer instinct in front of goal would prove their downfall in the match, which looked to be heading for a goalles draw until Bahrain struck in the dying moments.
In the fourth minute of injury time Bahrain were awarded a free-kick and Abdulrahman's well-struck 20-metre drive found its way into the net past Uzbekistan keeper Ignatiy Nesterov. The defeat means Uzbekistan are now facing a mountain to climb in the race for a place at the FIFA World Cup finals.
Only the top two teams from the group, which also includes Australia, Japan and Qatar, qualify for South Africa 2010, while the third-placed team has to go through to the play-offs.