Taipei: Chu En-le headed home a 91st minute winner as Chinese Taipei secured a dramatic 2-1 comeback win over Bahrain at Taipei Municipal Stadium on Tuesday to boost their 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualification hopes in Group E.
Ismaeel Abdulatif’s 18th minute opener for Bahrain from the penalty spot had appeared to have set Bahrain on their way to follow up September’s 5-0 win in Manama.
But after Chen Po-liang equalised for the home side in the 89th minute, new coach Gary White celebrated his first game in charge in style as Chu headed home Chen Hao-wei’s cross as Chinese Taipei secured a second win in Group E and ended Bahrain’s unbeaten record.
After a scrappy opening, the visitors took the lead in the 18th minute after Mahdi Abduljabbar was tripped inside the penalty area and Abdulatif made no mistake from 12 yards.
Chinese Taipei struggled to create chances in the opening 45 minutes, with Bahrain always looking dangerous in the final third with Abdulatif and Abdulla Yaser.
But the home side came out strongly in the second half and a reenergised Chinese Taipei pushed forward in search of an equaliser.
The home side had a penalty appeal turned down in the 67th minute when Chen Wei-Chuan went down inside the area, but as the match wore on, White’s charges started to run out of steam and Bahrain began to reassert their authority on the contest.
But with just over a minute of normal time remaining, Chen Po-liang was able to get away from his marker to turn Chu En-lee’s ball into the area past Bahrain goalkeeper Sayed Mohsen.
And barely two minutes later, the home side snatched all three points as Chen Hao-wei escaped down the right and his cross was headed home by Chu to spark wild celebrations in the stands.
Bahrain almost hit back deep into stoppage time, but Chinese Taipei goalkeeper Pan Wen-chieh produced a superb save to tip a powerful volley from substitute Mohamed Al Banna over the crossbar.