U23s set for AFC opener against Iran
Tashkent, Uzbekistan: Qatar continued their preparations ahead of the AFC U23 Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2022, which will kick off tomorrow.
Al Annabi, who reached Tashkent on Saturday, continued their training session yesterday to prepare for their opening match of the tournament.
Asia’s top 16 teams, divided into four groups, will battle for glory in the event, which will conclude on June 19. Qatar are in Group A alongside hosts Uzbekistan, Iran and Turkmenistan.
Al Annabi, coached by Nicolas Cordova, will start their campaign against Iran tomorrow at Tashkent’s Bunyodkor Stadium. They will meet Uzbekistan on June 4 before meeting Turkmenistan in their final group match on June 7.
Qatar missed participation in the first edition in Oman in 2014, and then appeared in the subsequent three editions beginning in 2016, losing in the semi-finals to South Korea 3-1, before it ranked fourth after they lost to Iraq 2-1. Qatar’s most prominent achievement was achieving third place in the 2018 edition.
The AFC U-23 Asian Cup has served as a launch pad for some of the biggest icons in Asian and world football, which include Japanese and Liverpool ace Takumi Minamino, Iranians Mehdi Taremi and Alireza Beiranvand as well as AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 winner and top goal scorer Almoez Ali of Qatar, with the 2022 edition well poised to unearth a new generation of future household names.
Spread over a span of 19 days, the continent’s top teams will supply thrilling action over 32 matches across four venues.
Qatar team, before travelling to Tashkent, concluded friendly fixtures in Doha. As part of its preparatory programme, the Qatari team also participated in the Dubai Friendly Championship.
Qatar reached the Asian U-23 finals after topping the first group of qualifiers to join 15 teams that will be in Uzbekistan, namely: Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, UAE and Jordan , Australia, South Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia, Japan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and hosts Uzbekistan.
The tournament will witness the participation of four teams that have previously won the title. Qatar U-23 squad: Ahmed Al Janhi, Mustafa Essam (Al Gharafa), Salah Zakaria, Muhammad Al Nuaimi (Al Duhail), Jassem Jaber, Ahmed Suhail, Mahmoud Aboundi (Al Arabi), Osama Al Tiri, Hashem Ali, Ali Mal Allah ( Al Rayyan), Abdul Rashid Ibrahim, Abdullah Al Sulaiti (Al Ahli), Youssef Abdul Razzaq, Mustafa Tariq, Faisal Muhammad, Youssef Abdullah (Al Sadd), Youssef Ayman, Jassem Al Muhairi, Khaled Walid (Qatar), Muhammad Ayyash (Al Wakra), Haroun Diab ( Al Khor), Marwan Sharif (North), Makki Mohsen (Al Kharaitiyat).