QATAR BEAT CHINA IN FRIENDLY WITH ASPIRE GRADUATES PLAYING CRUCIAL ROLE
09 Sep 2018, General
Doha, 8 September 2018. Qatar senior national team comprising of a good number of Aspire Academy graduates edged visiting China national team in an international friendly match played on Friday 7th September at Khalifa International Stadium. Graduate Almoez Ali's first-half strike was the difference between the two sides.
Team China are ranked 75th according to the latest FIFA rankings, 23 places above Qatar (98). Last time both teams met was during the 2018 World Cup Russia qualifiers which Qatar lost 2-1 at home in September 2017. Coach Felix Sanchez’s team was captained by Hassan al Haydos and 80% of the of the twenty-five (25) member squad is linked with Aspire Academy in one way or another with the majority being graduates.
Speaking after the victory, Almoez said, “I am happy to score the winning goal against China. The victory will give us confidence as the season progresses,”. Meanwhile Qatar coach Felix Sanchez was also pleased with his team’s performance and said, “We could have won by a bigger margin but a win is still a win,” said the Spaniard. “We have a few more friendlies coming up. All the exposure will serve the players well during the 2019 Asian Cup,” he added.
Qatar will play another friendly against Palestine on Tuesday as Sanchez looks to get his strategy and combinations right as he prepare them for the 2019 Asian Cup, which will be held in the UAE in January. The team will also play two friendly matches against Ecuador and Uzbekistan in October. The first will be against Ecuador on October 12 in Doha, while the second against Uzbekistan in Tashkent on October 16.