Qatar overwhelme Sri Lanka in U19 opening qualifier
DOHA: Hosts Qatar yesterday powered past Sri Lanka to win 5-1, with striker Mekki Tombari starring with an impressive brace during their first AFC U-19 Championship Qualifier.
Playing on home soil, Qatar came into the match as warm favourites and that assessment appeared accurate when Tombari cut inside and scored within five minutes.
A brace header from Mostafa Kadira made it 2-0 with 19 minutes gone, and it looked like Sri Lanka would be in for a long night when Tombari scored his second in the 44th minute, tapping into an empty net after Sri Lankan goalkeeper Mohamed Mursith spilled Jassim Al Zarra’s initial effort.
But just as Qatar looked to be in total control, Sri Lanka struck back with a quite superb long-range strike from substitute R Mohamed Shabeer, who left Qatar goalkeeper Yousef Balideh stunned, and the small knot of Sri Lankan fans delighted, in the 45th minute.
That goal gave Sri Lanka hope, but there was no stopping Qatar, who went further ahead when Avishka Deshan turned the ball into his own net in the 59th minute, before Al Jarra finished off a lovely move with a sweet strike into the bottom corner five minutes later.