After a predictably tense opening 15 minutes where both sides were feeling their way into the game, Qatar began to display the style of play and characteristics many have come to associate with a Felix Sanchez side.
Sayed Mohammed was forced into making two decent stops from close range prior to the 25th minute, with hosts Qatar seeing plenty of the ball.
Shortly before the half hour mark, Akram Afif went on a surging run and was cynically brought down by Waleed Al Hayam who received a yellow card for his challenge. Qatar’s Homam Ahmed following him into the book soon after.
Following a promising Bahrain attacking spell, Qatar retrieved the ball and quickly released Afif who was once again brought down just outside the 18-yard box as Sayed Redha was cautioned for the offence.
Pedro Miguel was the next name into the referee’s book and Bahrain tried their luck from distance from the resulting free-kick, as Sayed Dhiya had Qatari goalkeeper Saad Al Sheeb scrambling.
The best chance of the opening 15 minutes of the second half went Qatar’s way. Abdulaziz Hatem delivered his free-kick from a wide position with both pace and precision to the head of Boualem Khouki who connected brilliantly, only to see the ball bounce just over the crossbar.
The deadlock was finally broken with a superbly guided header from Abdulaziz Hatem. Afif proving integral to the goal with an inviting driven ball into the box, allowing Hatem to guide his effort beyond the Bahraini shot stoppers’ grasp.
Qatar then saw out the remaining 25 minutes to take all three points in their Group A opener.