The levant team has now advanced to Group D along with Algeria, Egypt and Sudan.
A spectacular goal by Hilal El Helwe against Djibouti has secured Lebanon’s spot in the final stage of the Arab Cup 2021 in Qatar.
🇱🇧 Lebanon have sealed their place at the #FIFArabCup 🎟
😲 A stunning volley scored by Hilal Al Helwe proved to be the difference as the Cedars edged Djibouti to earn a place in Group D alongside Algeria, Egypt and Sudan in Group D 🌲
— FIFA (@FIFAcom) June 23, 2021
The levant team now join Egypt, Algeria, and Sudan in Group D in the first round on December 1.
Both teams showed resilience during Wednesday’s game, countering attacks for a chance to join the winners of this week’s single knockout fixtures.
Minutes after the kick-off, Lebanon’s Kassem El Zein was close to putting his team in the lead with a header, but Djibouti’s goalkeeper Mbonihankuye Innocent snatched the opportunity with a fantastic save.
Meanwhile, Djibouti missed a golden chance in the 22nd minute after Doualeh Mahamoud Elabeh’s shot was deflected before going over the crossbar.
Just when hope was almost lost, El Helwe scored the only goal in the game after an assist from Mohamad Haidar, securing his team’s spot in the Arab Cup.
The second round in December will see Algeria go head to head with Lebanon, while Egypt will face off with Sudan on December 4.
The third round on December 7 will see rivals Algeria and Egypt go head to head. Meanwhile, Sudan will face off Lebanon in a heated game for a chance to be the Arab champions.
The next qualification match will take place on Thursday, June 24, between Palestine and Comoros. The winner will join Lebanon, Mauritania, Jordan, Oman, and Sudan in the tournament next November.
The single knockout fixtures will continue to take place in Doha until Friday, 25 June 2021, with the 14 lowest-ranked countries (of the 23 participating sides) on the April 2021 edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking competing for a spot in the final stage.
The remaining qualifiers will determine the next two participants in the tournament.
Palestine (104) vs Comoros (131) will play on Thursday in Jassim bin Hamad Stadium, while the last match will be between Bahrain (99) and Kuwait (148) on Friday at Khalifa International Stadium.
Both matches will kick off at 8 PM Qatar time.
Winners of the remaining matches will join Lebanon, Sudan, Jordan, Oman, Qatar, Iraq, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Syria, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Algeria in the FIFA Arab Cup final phase from 30 November to 18 December in Qatar.