Qatar made to work hard; Yemen have it easy
Hosts miss chances aplenty before defeating Bangladesh 2-0 while Yemen drub Bhutan 10-1 in the 2020 AFC Under-16 qualifiers.
At the end of 90 minutes of play between Qatar and Bangladesh in the 2020 AFC Under-16 qualification tournament, the scoreline read 2-0 in favour of the hosts.
But Qatar coach Abdelrazzaq Hedider and the hundreds of home fans who watched the Group E game at the Aspire Academy may not have felt very convinced about the side’s performance in front of the goal.
Despite creating chances, Qatar were unable to apply the finishing touches and Bangladesh were able to trouble them by attacking through the wings. It appeared as if the hosts had underestimated their rivals, with the visitors launching threatening counterattacks, much to the delight of the Bangladeshi supporters in the crowd.
Qatar, however, gained advantage in the 55th minute when Rashid Abdulaziz Al Abdullah breached the rival defence for the first time. Mubarak Shanan Hamza, who ran in through the right, accurately fed the ball to the lanky forward who had moved in stealthily from the opposite flank. Despite three rival defenders attempting to crowd him out, Rashid found a little space to score the opener.
Qatar could not relax until the fag end of the game, when substitute Abdulrahman Al Dossari, playing a one-two with Mohammed Salem Al Quraishi, tapped the ball into the net in the 89th.
Qatar coach Abdelrazzak chose to focus on the positives.
|Bangladesh vs Bhutan||4.00 pm|
|Qatar vs Yemen||7.00 pm|
“It was a hard fight but my players deserved to win. Throughout the match, we were all over Bangladesh but were unable to convert. They didn’t make it easy for us but we succeeded in the end,” he told Inside Qatar.
In the day’s first match, Yemen thumped Bhutan 10-1.
The Arab side, despite coming together just three days ago, showed no lack of cohesion, ruthlessly brushing Bhutan aside.
Mohammed Ahmed Mahdi, who scored four times in the second half, was particularly impressive in the Yemen ranks. Ahmed Hassan Murshed, Mohammed Ali Hasan (two goals each), Hesham Ahmed Belabl and Omar Hussein Al Tairi (one each) were their other scorers.
Jigme Namgyel pulled one back for Bhutan, who trailed 1-4 at half-time.
Yemeni coach Mohammed Saleh Ali was pleased with the team’s performance.
“The boys played well, and I thank God for this victory. I’m satisfied with how they gelled, especially because they didn’t get too much time to train together before flying to Qatar,” he told Inside Qatar.
Bhutan’s Singaporean coach Vincent Subramaniam said his boys might have been a little overawed by the occasion.
“Since they’ve only ever played in high altitudes, performing at ground-level venues is always difficult. But having said that, they often seemed to freeze with the ball. It was only their eighth competitive match this year, perhaps the situation may have overwhelmed them a little,” he said.