Bahrain coach Milan Macala insists there is no more pressure on his side despite failing to earn a first-leg advantage in yesterday's 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ play-off against Saudi Arabia in Manama.
Visiting goalkeeper Waleed Abdullah produced a string of saves to keep the tie level ahead of Wednesday's second leg in Riyadh. But with a tough trip to the King Fahd Stadium on the horizon for Bahrain, well-travelled coach Macala is upbeat after witnessing a positive display from his side during the goalless first leg.
"This result will put a lot of pressure on the players in the next game but this is natural as we will be playing away and Saudi Arabia are playing at home and in front of their fans," said Czech coach Macala.
This result will put a lot of pressure on the players in the next game but this is natural as we will be playing away,
"The game was good and our players had an impressive game. To be honest, I don't know whether the result is good for us or not. We wasted a lot of chances and we were not fortunate.
"The game was really hard for us although we controlled the game, while Saudi Arabia defended deep and tried to hit us on counter attacks. Probably the big pressure on the Saudi players affected them."
After returning home with a goalless draw, Saudi Arabia are in pole position to advance to face Oceania champions New Zealand for a place at next year's FIFA World Cup finals in South Africa.
"It was a positive game from both teams who tried to score and they showed this intention but they couldn't do it and the game finished scoreless," said Saudi Arabia's Portuguese coach Jose Peseiro. "We will give our best on Wednesday to win at home. Of course it could have been better had we won the game."