Bahrain holds Iran to 1-1 draw in WCup qualifier
Bahrain held Iran to a 1-1 draw Friday in a politically charged
Asian World Cup qualifying match in the restive Gulf kingdom.
Bahrain striker Mohammed al-Ajmi gave the hosts a 1-0 lead at
halftime, but Iran midfielder Mojtaba Jabbari scored an equalizer
in the 90th minute at the half-empty National Stadium.
Tensions between the two Gulf neighbors have been heightened
after protests in Bahrain by the Shiite majority against the Sunni
monarchy. Bahrain has accused Iran of encouraging the unrest, while
Iran has denounced the Bahrain government’s crackdown.
Security was tight Friday and eyewitnesses said Bahrain fans
burnt Iranian flags outside the stadium after the match and threw
water bottles at the Iranian players as they were leaving the
There were no immediate reports of injuries.
Iran leads Group E with eight points from four matches. Qatar,
which beat Indonesia 4-0, trails on goal difference, while Bahrain
is third with five points.