Qatar open AFC Asian Cup campaign with a 2-0 victory over Lebanon
Qatar, hosts of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, got their AFC Asian Cup campaign off to a flying start by defeating Lebanon 2-0 at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain, UAE, yesterday.
Qatar, keen to impress in their last major continental event before the 2022 World Cup, showed great patience and maturity in their win over the Lebanese, reported Gulf Times.
Second-half goals from Bassam Al Rawi and Almoez Ali gave Qatar the full three points at the end of a challenging encounter. Qatar is now tied with Saudi Arabia on three points in Group E.
While Bassam scored in the 65th minute to put his team ahead, Almoez consolidated the lead in the 79th minute.
The Qatar national team, coached by Spaniard Felix Sanchez, impressed with their speed and fitness, according to The Peninsula.
In the ninth minute, Qatar captain Hassan Al Haydos produced a header from the centre of the box but missed with his shot to the right.
Sanchez’s second-half introduction of 2018 AFC Asian Player of the Year Abdelkarim Hassan brought attacking bite to the maroon brigade, and it resulted in two quick goals.
Lebanon's early delight of having broken the deadlock was cut short after the referee ruled out the strike for a foul in the first half. The Lebanese are making their first appearance in the tournament since 2000, reported Qatar Tribune.