Qatar vow quality show on home soil

 13 Jun 2017 - 1:31

Qatar vow quality show on home soil
Qatar's Ahmed Al Sayed (centre) along with his team-mates during a training session ahead of the World Cup Qualifying match against South Korea. The match will be played in Doha today.

The Peninsula

Qatar internationals believe that Qatar’s third round Group A 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against South Korea today will prove valuable for the development of ‘Al Annabi’, as the national team looks towards the 2022 FIFA World Cup at home.
Abdulkarim Hassan and Almoez Ali, past and present holders of the Qatar Football Association’s (QFA) Under-23 Player-of-the-Year awards, view the game against the Asian powerhouses as an opportunity to gather further experience at the highest level.
Hassan emphasised that Qatar’s plans for the 2022 FIFA World Cup will be focused on youth.
Al Sadd left-back Hassan, a 23-year-old with 60 international caps to his name, said that Jorge Fossati’s side will fight hard to match opponents whose starting line-up will feature many players with big match experience in top European leagues.
“The match against South Korea will be a good platform to prepare for the home World Cup in 2022,” said Hassan, who scored Qatar’s first goal in the 2-2 draw in the friendly against North Korea on 6 June.
“We will focus on getting the basics right against them. For instance, our full-backs, including me, will have to be careful as they have very speedy wingers who can take advantage of the space if we make overlapping runs. The collective experience of playing against such teams will be significant as the team prepares for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.”
Hassan emphasised that Qatar’s plans for the 2022 FIFA World Cup will be focused on youth.
“For the tournament, we will have a core group of players who have been together from the under-19 level and have been achieving significant things. We will be joined by a group of gifted youngsters currently coming through the world-class infrastructure and coaching system of Aspire, so things look positive.”
Almoez Ali wants to fuel his dreams of being the main striker for the host nation of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Hassan’s 20-year-old compatriot Ali is seeking his first competitive international cap following his appearance as a substitute in the friendly against North Korea.
He said he will use the experience of playing against a top Asian side to continue his technical development and fuel his dreams of being the main striker for the host nation of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
“We have all been together for quite some time now at the age-group level,” said the Lekhwiya forward.
“Playing against South Korea is a good way to measure ourselves against a team that plays slick, modern football.”
Ali added: “Son Heung-min is amazing on the left, and they have a gifted winger on the right as well. In the middle, they have fantastic players linking up with Son, such as our own Nam Tae-hee. I saw the away game in Suwon last October and it was a tactical lesson, watching from the sidelines how their midfield and the centre-forward linked up with Son.”
His Lekhwiya team-mate Nam, who was voted QFA Player of the Year 2017, has been a constant source of inspiration for Ali this season.
“I have added many facets to my game this year, learning the finer nuances of shooting inside the box from Youssef El Arabi, and intelligent movement and use of space from Nam. He is a terrific player, and I am looking forward to playing against him and hopefully beating his team.”