Bahrain demolish India 5-2 in Asian Cup
Ismaeel Abdulatif is the new darling of Bahrain after he claimed four goals -- including a 19-minute first-half hat-trick -- in his team's 5-2 demolition of India at the Asian Cup.
The 24-year-old Al Hala foward netted from close range in the 16th and 19th minutes after Faouzi Aaish's opener had been cancelled out by Gouramangi Singh and completed his hat-trick with a slick finish 10 minutes before half-time.
India pulled another goal back through Sunil Chhetri before Aaish was dismissed after being shown a second yellow card for diving.
But Abdulatif slammed home a fine individual goal late on at the Al Sadd Stadium to put the game beyond India and send himself to the top of the tournament scoring charts.
Abdulatif became the first player to score four goals in a game at the Asian Cup since Iran great Ali Daei against South Korea at the 1996 tournament.
Victory took Bahrain, semi-finalists in 2004, to within a point of Group C co-leaders Australia and South Korea ahead of their final group game against the Socceroos on January 18.
Bahrain can only reach the quarter-finals by defeating the pre-tournament favourites, but Sharida believes the side's performances so far demonstrate that they are capable of an upset.
Bahrain will miss the cultured left foot of Aaish, who had also scored a penalty in their 2-1 defeat against South Korea, but Sharida said his team would be able to cope without the midfielder.