FIFA U-20 World Cup: Qatar ready for uphill task
TYCHY, Poland: Qatar players are ready for an uphill task when they face the United States in their final match of the preliminary stage at FIFA U-20 World Cup on Thursday.
Qatar, coached by Bruno Miguel, have lost matches against Nigeria and Ukraine at the 24-team tournament.
However, the tournament’s 24-team format allows the four best third-placed countries from the groups to also progress.
In an even contest against Ukraine, Qatar displayed better cohesion before conceding a second-half goal on Monday.
Qatar also received a blow as captain Nasir Peer was shown a red card for a late tackle on Maksym Chekh. He will miss the next match.
Qatar’s young squad has shown flashes of brilliance in their two matches.
However, a stern test awaits the Al Annabi squad on Friday.
Ukraine have qualified for the next round of the tournament with six points from two matches.
Along with Ukraine, other teams to qualify for the next stage include Uruguay and New Zealand joining already-qualified Italy and Senegal in the last 16 of the FIFA U-20 World Cup.
The Ukrainians were the first team to ensure their passage to the knockout stage from Group D, for the fourth time in their history, by defeating Qatar 1-0 in Tychy.
They can now approach their third and final Group D game against Nigeria – who lost to a USA side that played some attractive football and will advance from the section in the event of a victory over the Qataris on Thursday – without any pressure on their shoulders.
Ukraine have now advanced to the Round of 16 in all four of their appearances in competition history (2001, 2005, 2015 and 2019). However, they have yet to reach the quarter-finals.
Nigeria and the US each have three points from two matches in Group D.
Also on Tuesday, Argentina beat Portugal 2-0 at the Bielsko-Biala Stadium to book La Albiceleste’s spot in the last 16.