16 Nov 2022
Qatar’s U-23 National Team, formed of Aspire Academy graduates, finished as runners-up at the 2022 West Asian Football Federation (WAFF) Under-23 Championship in Saudi Arabia.
The Olympic squad lost 3-1 in Tuesday’s final to hosts Saudi Arabia, with Diab Haroun scoring Qatar’s only goal.
The tournament will have given the squad important experience and insight as they prepare to host the AFC Under-23 Asian Cup in 2024.
22 of the 23-man squad of Aspire Academy graduates will still be eligible to participate in the 2024 event that is also the qualifying tournament for the Paris Olympics later in the year.
The WAFF event also offered former Aspire Academy coach Bruno Pinheiro a first chance to see the team in competitive action since taking charge of the Qatar under-23 team in August.
Earlier Qatar had finished top of Group A after a goalless draw against Lebanon and then a 1-0 win over Oman 1-0 thanks to an early goal from Mekki Tombari.
In the semi-finals Qatar beat Syria 6-5 on penalties after the match had finished 1-1.
Fawaz Bawadekji had given Syria in the 53rd minute with Mostafa Qadeera equalized for Qatar just two minutes later.