Tight defense helps Qatar share points in China
KUNMING, China: Tight defending on Tuesday helped Qatar share points with hosts China in a goalless draw.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying game at Tuodong Stadium was played in front of a huge crowd as Qatar – coached by Jorge Fossati – remained steadfast throughout the game.
China remain at the bottom of Group A while Qatar are in fifth spot out of six teams.
Despite the lions’ share of possession and numerous shots on goal, China could not unlock the Qatari defence in Marcello Lippi’s first game in charge.
China now have just two points to show from five games in this final round of qualifying, while Qatar are just one spot ahead in the table with five points.
Fossati’s men had the first real opportunity of the game after being awarded a corner kick with five minutes on the clock.
The set piece delivery inititally looked to be mishit and appeared to be swinging out of the box, but a late-arriving Ibrahim Majid surprised the defence with a firm header back in.
The ball found Sebastian Soria right in front of the goal, but his backheel attempt was just wide of the goal post as the startled China defenders stood and watched.
Up the other end, Jiang Zhipeng’s hard free kick six minutes later was on target as it found its way through the Qatari wall, but it bounced off Saad Al Sheeb’s gloves and out for a corner kick.
In the second half, both sides traded attacks but neither team could find the back of the net.
Qatar endured some nervy final moments to come away with a share of the spoils.
This was the third game for new coach Fossati who has guided the side to a win following a hard-fought loss against Korea last month.