Youssif Hassan, the goalkeeper for Qatar, stated that the national team improved much from playing “difficult matches” during the three-game series in Europe. Following tight encounters against Portugal and Serbia earlier in the week, Qatar produced a spirited 1-1 draw against Luxembourg on Tuesday.
The three games were part of the European qualification series for the 2022 World Cup. On Tuesday, Luxembourg’s Ivandro Borges Sanches (31) scored, while Qatar’s Homam Alamin equalised (42).
“Our team has benefited immensely from the experience of participating in the European qualifiers. We faced strong teams such as Serbia, Portugal and Luxembourg. Playing against was an outstanding experience. The results are not important in such matches, and the most important thing is to gain experience from facing big teams that we shall play in the World Cup,” said Hassan after the match on Tuesday.
“We could have come out better against Luxembourg, but we did not adjust to the atmosphere of the match quickly. That does not mean that we did not get a good return. We were good, especially in the second half,” he said. “I had to step away due to injury, and I am now returning gradually, step by step,” he said regarding his absence last week.
Qatar finished their European tour with a 1-1 tie against Luxembourg. The two teams were competing in Group A of the 2022 FIFA World Cup European qualification round. It was Luxembourg who struck first in this tense encounter in the 31st minute of play. A pass from teammate Edvin Muratovi set up Sanches for a close-range goal.
Qatar equalised in the 42nd minute with a stunning play. As soon as a long cross from the centre reached his left wing, he sprinted into the Luxembourg penalty area. “Wiry yet fast,” Alamin ran past two players before flicking the ball from an extreme angle to Qatar’s goalkeeper’s left.
There were only two minutes left in regulation time and as Akram Afif was ready to take a shot from the edge of the Luxembourg penalty area, he was well covered by defenders. Once again, it was 1-1 as both teams left the ground at the freshly constructed Stade de Luxembourg. As time expired, Qatari striker Abdulaziz Hatim took a shot from beyond the box, but it was only inches from hitting the Luxembourgian crossbar in the 50th minute.
An open goal opportunity fell to Almoez Ali in the 69th minute, but his effort from within the area sailed past Luxembourg goalkeeper Anthony Moris and out of play. Last week, Qatar faced Portugal (1-3) and Serbia (4-0).
Before hosting football’s biggest tournament in Qatar next year, Qatar is competing for a spot in the 2022 World Cup European Qualifying Round. Qatar’s involvement in this three-match qualification series was their first since losing to the United States in the Gold Cup semi-finals earlier this month. On the FIFA computer, Qatar is placed 42nd in the world, whereas Luc Holtz’s Luxembourg team is ranked 96th in the world. They will be back in Doha by Wednesday.