Bahrain Appoints Croatian Talajic as Manager Post Asian Cup Exit

Bahrain Football Association has appointed Croatian Dragan Talajic as the new manager following the termination of Juan Antonio Pizzi’s contract. The 58-year-old, a former goalkeeper with extensive managerial experience in the Middle East, is set to arrive in Manama this week, with details of his contract yet to be disclosed.

The decision to bring in Talajic comes after Bahrain’s exit from the Asian Cup, where they suffered a 3-1 defeat to Japan in the last 16 on January 31. The Argentine head coach, Juan Antonio Pizzi, had his contract terminated by mutual consent last week.

Bahrain currently stands second in Group H of the Asian qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup, securing three points from two matches. They are trailing behind group leaders UAE, who defeated them 2-0 in November.

Looking ahead, Bahrain faces Nepal in their upcoming qualifying match on March 21, followed by a reverse fixture five days later. These matches are crucial as the top two teams from the group will advance to the third round of the qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup. The team, under Talajic’s leadership, aims to secure favorable results and strengthen their position in the race for World Cup qualification. The football community will closely watch Bahrain’s performance and the impact of the new managerial appointment on their journey in the Asian qualifiers.

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