Impressive Qatar beat Palestine as captain Al Haydos celebrates100th cap

DOHA: Qatar on Tuesday crushed Palestine 3-0 for their second successive win this week as coach Felix Sanchez’s side looked in complete control in the home international friendly.

Goals by Almoez Ali (3), Akram Afif (20) and captain Hassan Al Haydos (30) – who was playing his 100th international for Qatar – completed the 3-0 rout of Palestine.

It was Qatar’s second successive win following their 1-0 win over China on Friday at the same venue.

Before the start of the international friendly at the Khalifa International Stadium, QFA President Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Thani on Tuesday presented a jersey with 100 emblazoned on the back to Qatar skipper Al Haydos.

Al Haydos’ Qatar team mates also presented a bouquet to the captain who was all smiles near the touchline.

Al Sadd star Al Haydos, 27, has become the 4th Qatari player with a 100 or more matches after Sebastian Soria (123), Wisam Rizq (111) and Bilal Mohammed (108).

However, seconds into the match, Qatar showed they meant business when impressive young gun Ali opened the scoring thanks to a smart cross by Al Haydos.

Ali put the home team ahead in the third minute of the match completely taking Palestine backline by surprise. Ali, after receiving a near-perfect cross from captain Al Haydos, produced a deft snap-header to send the ball past Palestine goalkeeper. Despite a defender marking Ali, the Qatari striker deflected the ball into the net with relative calm.

After a few rough tackles, Qatar upped the ante with their second strike in the 20th minute. Forward Afif – following a cross from Ali – ran with the ball for a few meters before powerfully shooting the ball past the Palestinian goalkeeper from inside the visitor’s box.

Four minutes later, the home team nearly scored their third goal of the first half. Qatar captain Al Haydos – lurking on the wing – turned in a neat lob for Afif who was stationed inside the Palestinian box. The ball arrived for Afif to head home from close range but the Al Annabi forward’s deflection kissed the crossbar and sailed away without causing any harm.

Al Haydos added the third at the half-hour mark celebrating his 100th cap for Qatar with a goal.

The two teams played out a goalless second half as Palestine backline showed great coordination to keep Qatar attacks short.

Qatar lined up the friendlies against China and Palestine to give coach the time and space to work on his starting line-up for their 2019 Asian Cup opener in January next year.

The 2019 AFC Asian Cup will be the 17th edition of the AFC Asian Cup, the quadrennial international men’s football championship of Asia organised by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). It will be held in the United Arab Emirates from 5 January to 1 February 2019.

Qatar are one of the 24 teams featuring in the three-week event to be played in four cities in the UAE.

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