Qatar’s Al-Annabi witnessed a humiliating defeat against Croatia’s under-23s, losing 3-0 in a friendly game on Tuesday.
Playing at Austria’s Wiener Neustadt Stadium, Qatar’s defence was unfastened quickly as early goals from Croatia’s Tonio Teklic and Josip Mitrovic put the Qatari team on edge.
Teklic nailed a penalty kick in the 14th minute, while forward Mitrovic struck a goal moments later for the junior Croats.
With three minutes left on the clock, Sandro Kulenovic netted the match’s final goal, sending the Felix Sanchez-coached side to the locker room.
The upsetting loss is a shock to Qatar’s players, who are fresh off an undefeated friendly four-nation tournament.
However, the loss can be blamed on a change of schedule more than a lack of preparation, as Qatar was initially set to face Bolivia.
A last-minute cancellation by the Bolivians led Qatar to go against Croatia’s under-23 team, composed of their domestic players and not their stars who are currently playing for their club teams.
This coming week Qatar will have its last friendlies preparation before the World Cup, meeting Canada on Friday and Chile on 27 September.
Surpassing Greece in the FIFA rankings this month, Qatar will work to hold on to its 48th position on the leaderboard.
In 60 days, Qatar will debut in its first-ever World Cup against Ecuador on 20th November before going against African champions Senegal and The Netherlands.