U-19s beat Oman, reach AFC finals
Doha: AFC U-19 Championship 2014 champions Qatar came from a goal down to defeat Oman 2-1 on Tuesday and earn the right to defend their title at next year’s finals, having qualified as Group D winners.
Having recorded earlier Group D victories over Kyrgyzstan (7-1) and Lebanon (4-0), Qatar needed only a draw from the top-of-the-table clash at the Grand Hamad Stadium while nothing less than a victory would suffice for second-placed Oman, who made a stuttering start to their qualifying campaign when they drew 0-0 with the Lebanese before getting back on track with a 4-1 win over the Central Asians.
Qatar’s goal was breeched for only the second time in the qualifiers when Asad Khamis Al Awadi successfully converted from the spot on the half-hour mark but Qatar were to go into the break on level terms after Turkmen referee Charymurat Gurbanov awarded his second penalty of the first half, with Tarek Salman equalising three minutes into stoppage time.
Khalid Muneer Mazeed made it 2-1 just three minutes into the second half with what transpired to be the winning goal as defending champions Qatar took their place at the 2016 AFC U-19 Championship having topped Group D with a 100% record.
Qatar will join the nine other group winners and five best second-placed teams (which will be confirmed in due course) at the AFC U-19 Championship, with hosts Bahrain receiving automatic entry to next year’s 16-team tournament.
Oman finished second in Group D on goal difference above third-placed Lebanon, who consigned Kyrgyzstan to the foot of the table after defeating the Central Asians 4-1 in the final match of the qualifiers