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Nov 26 - Dec 8, 2019
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Qatar drub Bhutan to progress as group leaders

Needing a huge win, the hosts notch an 11-0 victory to qualify for the final rounds of the AFC Under-16 Championships.
Qatars Abdulrahman Al Dosari Celebrates With His Team Mates After Scoring His Teams 11th Goal Against Bhutan
Qatar’s Abdulrahman Al Dosari celebrates with his team-mates after scoring his team’s 11th goal against Bhutan during their AFC U16 qualifiers match at Aspire Zone on Sunday IQ Photo: Vinod Divakaran

There was grim determination, plenty of creative moves and at the final whistle, a mad rush to the sidelines to smother striker Abdulrahman Al Dosari with hugs and kisses. Qatar, needing a huge win against Bhutan to qualify for the 2020 AFC Under-16 final rounds, had achieved just that, with Al Dosari scoring the final goal in an 11-0 rout.

In the last Group E match of the qualifiers, Qatar’s task was clear-cut. Before the final round, Qatar and Yemen had four points each from two games, with Yemen ahead on goal difference.

Qatar Players Celebrate After Defeating Bhutan 11 0 To Qualify For The Final Rounds Of The Afc Under 16 Championships
Qatar players celebrate after defeating Bhutan 11-0 to qualify for the final rounds of the AFC Under-16 Championships IQ Photo: Vinod Divakaran

Yemen then defeated Bangladesh 3-0 in the first match of the day to be on seven points and a goal difference of plus 12. Qatar, per force, had to win by at least an 11-goal margin to qualify as group toppers.

It was a hard task but the hosts converted three penalties and survived some anxious moments before coming through, having led only 3-0 at half-time. Qatar and Yemen finished level on points but the hosts had a goal difference of plus 13 against their rivals’ plus 12.

Qatar Coach Aderrazak Hedider Is Being Hoisted By His Players After Their Win Against Bhutan
Qatar coach Aderrazak Hedider is being hoisted by his players after their win against Bhutan. IQ Photo: Vinod Divakaran

Bangladesh, with one win, ended third on three points while the winless Bhutan finished bottom.

The Qatari players, aware of the task ahead of them, went about it in an organised manner. While Rashid Abdulaziz Al Abdulla starred with three goals, Mubarak Shanan Hamza and Mohammed Salem Al Quraishi pumped in two each. Abdulaziz Fahad Al Naimi, Hassan Mohammed Alghareeb, captain Mahdi Salem Almejaba and Al Dosari were the other scorers.

While the attacking trio of Mubarak Shanan, Mohammed Salem and Mahdi worked overtime to create moves, poor finishing often did them in.

Qatar’s first goal came in the eighth minute through a defensive error. Bhutan’s Pemba Tshering, who tried to clear the ball, hit it straight to Abdulaziz, who passed it to Rashid to apply the finishing touches.

Bhutan's Cheki Nidup Resists Qatars Mbarak Shanan Hamza
Bhutan’s Cheki Nidup resists Qatar’s Mbarak Shanan Hamza. IQ Photo: Vinod Divakaran

With Qatar repeatedly creating chances and then wasting them, Bhutan grew confident. They tightened their defence and went on the offensive a few times, with Phub Dorji and Kinzang Tenzin doing the spadework.

Qatar received a penalty in the 35thminute for a foul on Mubarak, and he converted from the spot. Their third goal, in the 43rd, was also from the spot, with Mohammed Salem firing it in.

Post-break, Qatar began with renewed energy and were rewarded within three minutes. Abdulaziz beat two Bhutanese defenders to shoot to the top of the net. The hosts made it 5-0 in the 53rd, thanks to a Mahdi strike.

Four minutes later, Mohammed Salem scored his second and Qatar’s sixth goal, from close quarters. Qatar increased the lead to 7-0 in the 65th, with Rashid neatly heading off a Mahdi free-kick. He scored again two minutes later, dribbling in powerfully from the half-way line, beating three defenders and slotting it in past the goalkeeper (8-0).

Qatars Mohammed Salem Al Quraishi Scores Against Bhutan
Qatar’s Mohammed Salem Al Quraishi scores against Bhutan. IQ Photo: Vinod Divakaran

Bhutan seemed to be a tired lot and succumbed to the intense pressure. Hassan then made it 9-0 for the hosts in the 72nd.

STANDINGS

Group E
Team PWDLGfGaPts
Qatar32101417
Yemen32101427
Bangladesh3102353
Bhutan30031240

With the momentum in their favour, Qatar took the foot off the pedal and Bhutan regrouped fast. They began to defend in numbers and the going got tough for the hosts from then on.

Qatar then got their third penalty when Tenzin accidentally handled the ball inside the box. Mubarak Shanan made no mistake from the spot.

Qatar finally made it through in the fourth minute of injury time when substitute Al Dosari powered a shot past the Bhutan goalkeeper.

Qatar’s German coach Abderrazak Hedidar said his boys deserved the win.

“We would’ve qualified even if we hadn’t scored 11 goals. But going through as group toppers is a great experience for my players. It’ll make them stronger in mind. I’m thrilled with their show,” he said.

Aspire Academy Director General Ivan Bravo, who is also the technical director of the Qatar Football Association, praised the boys’ overall performance.

“They played well throughout the tournament. Against Bhutan, they persevered until the end and came away with the desired result. Congratulations to them for a job well done,” he told Inside Qatar.