• Kyodo


Bahrain coach Milan Macala is confident of his side staging a repeat 1-0 victory over Japan when the two sides clash again on Saturday in their opener for the final round of qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup.

Macala’s men stunned Japan through Aala Hubail’s late header in the third round of qualifiers here in March to pile pressure on Japan boss Takeshi Okada.

A freak last-gasp goal from Atsuto Uchida saw Japan score a revenge 1-0 win in the return match in Saitama in June to finish top of third-round Group 2, but Macala warned his players are fired up to take maximum points at National Stadium.

“Things have been going very well, and all the players have gotten themselves ready. All our work is done for the Japan test,” Macala was quoted as saying in Thursday’s Gulf Daily News.

“We already beat them here and we can do it again. The players have shown good discipline from the first stage of preparations and they are determined to claim a place in the startling lineup,” added the Czech coach.

“Our two-week camp in Austria was very useful. We played matches against tough teams from Europe and the players are now more mature and experienced.”

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