Qatar seals 2023 Asian Cup qualification with 1-0 defeat of Oman

Qatar seals 2023 Asian Cup qualification with 1-0 defeat of Oman

By QLSports

Qatar defeated Oman 1-0 on Monday to secure their qualification for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup and sealed the top spot in Group E of the joint Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023.

Team captain Hasan Al Haydos Al Haydos struck from the spot in the 39th minute to give Qatar the lone goal of the almost one-sided match played at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha as the Asian Cup defending champions booked their ticket for China.

The match was part of the eight-round of Group E of the AFC World Cup qualifiers that are taking place in Doha, with Qatar, Oman, India, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan all participating.

The result leaves Qatar with 22 points, 10 points ahead of second-placed Oman, who still have two games to play - against Afghanistan on Friday and Bangladesh four days later.

Although Al Annabi will not be concerned with qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup given their status as the host nation, they are the third team to reach AFC 2023 behind Syria and Japan. China has automatically qualified as the host nation.

“We are happy to seal the qualification especially given that we are the defending champions. The players performed well throughout the two halves of the match, and I’m happy with their performance. The match against Oman national team was difficult, especially in the light of the absence of some key players in the team due to injury. To compound our injury woes, Musab Mohammed got injured at the beginning of the match, and Boualem at the end,” said coach Felix Sanchez after the match.

He added that the team will now get a good rest after a long and intense season. He also stressed that the matches would serve as good preparation for the FIFA World Cup 2022.

Oman, who lost 2-1 to Qatar in October 2019, started the match strongly and were unlucky not to find the back of the net within the first minute after goalkeeper Saad Al Sheeb easily saved Abdul Aziz Al Muqbali’s shot from inside the area.

That would prove to be Oman’s only meaningful attempt at goal as Qatar imposed their authority in the game with Hatim Abdelaziz and captain Hasan Al Haydos marshaling the midfield.

Sanchez’s men came close to scoring in the seventh minute when Abdelkarim Hassan lost his marker inside the area. Still, the midfielder wasted the opportunity when he fired his effort just wide.

It was a one-sided affair as Qatar continued to pile on the pressure, but their finishing in front of the goal left much to be desired as Mohammed Muntari and Hassan Al Heidos both wasted opportunities to score.

Oman continued to frustrate their opponents as Branko Ivankovic’s men foiled Qatar’s every goal attempt, with Al Haydos given no room to operate inside the final third.

However, Oman resistance finally cracked when they conceded a penalty in the 39th minute following a foul on Almoez Ali as Al Haydos struck coolly from the spot to give Qatar a 1-0 lead going into the break.

Oman began the second half very much in a defensive mode as Qatar started aggressively in a bid to extend their lead.

Salah Al Yahya, however, had a good chance to draw Oman level in the 52nd minute when he collected the ball just inside the box following a swift counter-attacking move, but Abdelkarim Hassan was quick to foil his attempt.

Oman’s confidence grew as the match wore on, but the equalizer was out of reach as Qatar held on for the win.

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