Qatar Football AssociationNews
11.01.2015 13:59 in :

CANBERRA: Qatar started their 2015 AFC Asian Cup campaign in disappointing manner after losing to the United Arab Emirates 1-4 at Canberra Stadium.

Following a high-octane opening twenty minutes; returning talisman Khalfan Ibrahim broke the deadlock on 22 minutes through an incisive volley signalling a sequel to Qatar’s recent Gulf Cup success.

However, a UAE equalizer before the interval, followed by three more in the second half saw Qatar conceding their worst defeat under the reign of Algerian coach Djamal Belmadi, whol led Qatar to a third Gulf Cup title just last November.AH3Q3742

An even opening spell in Australia’s capital saw two teams intent on attack and inside the first 10 minutes there was goalmouth action at either end of the field as Khalil and Mabkhout both saw efforts ruffle the side-netting, while Qatari defender Abdelaziz Hatem had a dangerous cross turned way at the back post by Mohamed Abdulrahman.

With such an open game in the making, it was no surprise that the first goal came not long after as UAE keeper Majed Naser could only push out Mohammed Muntari’s close range effort as far as former AFC Player of the Year Ibrahim who controlled the ball on his chest before delicately sending a flying volley over both the stranded goalkeeper and Mohanad Al Enezi on the line.

Abdelkarim Hassan almost extended the lead with a driving shot from distance into the side-netting, but with nine minutes of the half remaining the Emirates had drawn level.

Qatar goalie Burhan came and failed to collect, and Abdulaziz Sanqour whipped the ball across goal where Khalil’s header was blocked back to him by Ibrahim Majed on the line and rebounded in off the Emirati forward’s chest.

Qatar coach Djamel Belmadi brought on Boualem Khouki after the break to add some cutting edge to his attack but just six minutes after the re-start it was the UAE who went ahead for the first time in the match.AH3Q4776

The goal came from the boot of Khalil, who had threatened for much of the first period, taking full advantage from a dangerous set-piece on the corner of the penalty area to loop his free kick into the far corner of the goal.

And just five minutes later the UAE profited again from a dead-ball situation. This time Khamis Esmaeel’s on-target free kick was fumbled by Burhan and Mabkhout was first on the scene to follow up and drill the ball home.

Mabkhout then put the game beyond doubt on the 90th minute as he combined with Omar Abdulrahman to score from the edge of the six-yard box.

Qatar’s next game will be against group C favourites Iran on January 15 in Sydney.