Confident Qatar eye win over Korea
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: Unbeaten Qatar will be looking to post their second successive win over continental giants Korea on Friday when they two sides meet in the quarterfinals of the AFC Asian Cup.
On Tuesday, Qatar edged past 2007 champions Iraq with the game’s only goal coming from Bassam Al Rawi in the 62nd minute. Al Rawi scored off a spectacular free-kick that dipped before the keeper before smashing into the net.
When Qatar last played Korea, Uruguayan coach Jorge Fossati guided Al Anabi to a fighting 3-2 in at Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in June 2017. That encounter was a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match.
Overall, Korea have won more matches against Qatar – five against three losses in 10 encounters. Two matches have been draws.
However, Qatar’s brilliant form at the on-going 24-team tournament has made everyone sit and up notice the squad’s rapid rise under coach Felix Sanchez.
Feared striker Almoez Ali has fired an astonishing seven goals in just four matches including four against North Korea.
In the first match against Lebanon, Almoez scored one followed by a brace against Saudi Arabia in the group stages. Al Rawi, Qatar’s key defender, has also scored two goals in his tea’s unbeaten run.
Captain Hassan Al Haydos has been marshalling his troops with incredible stamina while Akram Afif has made a solid impression those watching the rise of Qatar youngsters.
Asian Player of the Year 2018 Abdulkarim Hassan has also given coach Sanchez the room to change tactics against each of the four opponents in the tournament.
Qatar keeper Saad Al Sheeb has also stood firm under the bars showing great understanding with the team’s backline.
Korea, coached by ex-Portugal manager Paulo Bento, have scored six goals and conceded two in four matches.
Qatar, on the other hand, have fired in 11 goals and have conceded none so far.
A mouth-watering clash at Zayed Sports City Stadium on Friday is expected to draw a full house.