Bangkok, 9 January 2020. Qatar’s U23 Football National Team, comprised of many players developed at Aspire Academy, started into the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 with a draw in their first group game against Syria on Thursday.
The Qatari team, coached by Qatar’s First National Team head coach Felix Sanchez, got itself a dream start: Just after a few seconds, Yusuf Abdurisag was on spot when Syria’s keeper Ghannam could not control a Surag-cross and scored the 1-0 with a shot from very close range (1’). After 22 minutes Qatar doubled their lead thanks to an own goal by Yosief Mohammad, who failed to clear Homam Ahmed's dangerous cross.
Syria fought back and put their name on the scoreboard a few minutes later, when Abd Al Rahman Barakat scored with a header from the centre of the box following a set piece executed by Kamel Koaeh (31’).
In the second half, Qatar-striker Hassan Palang almost turned into a “super-sub”: Just one minute after he was sent into the game by Felix Sanchez, he successfully finished a counter attack initiated by Yusuf Abdurisag, but, unfortunately the goal was disallowed (86’) after the referee consulted the VAR to check an offside position.
As a consequence of long VAR check, the game went into a long extra time and Syria used this advantage to make the late equalizer: After Qatar’s defense could not clear a long ball, Mohammad Alhallak’s pass into the center of the box found substitute Ahmad Dali, who had no problem to score the 2-2 from short distance.
In their next group stage game, Qatar is facing Saudi Arabia on Sunday, January 12 at 1:15pm. They are going to finish the group stage on Wednesday, January 15 with the game against Japan at 4:15pm.