2018 AFC U-23 Championship Qualifiers: Qatar and Saudi Arabia secure wins in opening fixtures

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Both sides began their qualification campaigns with convincing wins.

Saudi Arabia secured a 3-1 win over Bahrain on Wednesday to begin their 2018 AFC U-23 Championship Group B qualifiers on a successful note.

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Striker Abdulaziz Al Aryani opened the scoring for Saudi Arabia in the seventh minute, before Ali Jaafar Mohamed Madan equalised for Bahrain from the spot with 63 minutes on the clock at the Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Stadium.

However, Sami Al Najei was on hand to successfully convert a 73rd-minute penalty, while Bahrain’s Hamad Al Shamsan put through his own goal in the game’s dying embers to secure all three points for the Saudis.

The result sees Saudi Arabia, who are scheduled to meet Afghanistan on Friday, go second in the group behind table-topping Iraq.

Meanwhile, Akram Afif scored twice as hosts Qatar dominated Turkmenistan to emerge as 2-0 winners in their Group C encounter at Al Sadd Stadium.

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