Qatar outclass Lebanon, qualify to AFC U17 Asian Cup
Muscat, Oman: Qatar ended their AFC U17 Asian Cup™ 2023 Qualifiers Group C campaign with a resounding 4-1 victory over Lebanon to finish as group winners at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex Stadium on Sunday.
The young squad produced another scintillating display to cement their dominance over the group with three wins and one draw at the conclusion of the group.
Coach Al Shafei, who opted to make some changes to his starting lineup following an outstanding second-half performance against hosts Oman in the previous round, saw his squad get off to a flying start as left forward Tahsin Mohammed scored for Qatar just seven minutes in.
The early goal set the tone for the maroons, who continued to press a bunkered down Lebanon all over the pitch, with Qatar missing the odd opportunity here and there but failing to add a second before halftime.
Halftime Substitutions made by Al Sahfei proved fruitful immediately as Ahmad Nasirmahmood was at the receiving end of a Dekhayel Al Hamad cross in the 63rd minute, marking his first touch in the night with Qatar’s second goal. Soon after, Defender Ali Mohammad Shahabi headed home a corner in the 68th minute to stretch the lead to 3-0.
Rashid Muneer’s own goal in the 74th minute presented Lebanon with a glimmer of possibility. However all of their hopes of a comeback were dashed by Musaed Alahrak, who scored Qatar’s fourth goal in the 80th minute with a beautiful strike from outside the box.
A total of 44 participating Member Associations (MAs) were divided into 10 centralised qualifying groups, six of which feature four teams, while four groups include five sides when the Qualifiers take place.
Formerly known as the AFC U-16 Championship before the rebrand, the AFC U17 Asian Cup™ will mark the return of U17 competition in Asia following the last edition which was played in 2006.