ASPIRE GRADUATES STAR IN QATAR U-23 AFC CHAMPIONSHIP WIN OVER UZBEKISTAN
09 Jan 2018, General
Changzhou, 9 January 2018. Qatar national U-23 team made up of all but two Aspire Academy graduates picked up three (3) points from their opening match of Group A of 2018 Asia Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Championship played on Tuesday 9 January in Changzhou, China.
Aspire graduate, Almoez Ali’s well taken goal in the 55th minute gave Qatar a 1-0 win over Uzbekistan at Changzhou Olympic Sports Centre. Hosts China kicked off the championship with a 3-0 win over Oman and shot to the top of Group A equal on points with Qatar but boasting a better goal difference.
The goal had Aspire footprints all over it, with outstanding Hashim Ali working his way from the right flank before picking out Almoez with a perfect low cross into the box. Almoez who plays his club football for Al Duhail club in the Qatar Stars League met the cross with a rasping shot that sailed past Uzbekistan goalkeeper Dilshod Khamraev. Qatar could have scored more but were unfortunate to see midfielder Salem Al Hajri’s shot cannon off the bar but Uzbekistan too had chances in an open thrilling match.
Speaking after the match Qatar U-23 head coach, Felix Sanchez said, “It was always going to be a difficult game against Uzbekistan as we know they are tough opponents. I think the team did a very good job today and that they performed well in every department. I feel that one of the great strengths of this group of players is that they work very hard. They have a great spirit.”
Qatar returns to action on Friday 12TH January 2018 against Oman while China takes on Uzbekistan on the same day.