Eliminated without a win, the present state of Qatar football is in a state of worry.
Australia handed Qatar’s young maroons a bullying performance as they vanquished the footballers from the tournament 9-1 to advance to the quarter-finals of the AFC U20 Asian Cup.
Booking the last eight spots, Australia was caught surprised as Qatar opened the scoring in the first two minutes.
Left winger Moustafa Asar nailed in the shot only to see the team’s lone goal be followed by an own goal by Hassan Al Ghareeb in the 13th minute of the match.
The uncomfortable start to the match only worsened as goals from Chris Donnell, Raphael Rodrigues, and Bernardo Oliveira funneled in, rocking the scoreboard to 4-1 before halftime.
At the start of the second half, Australia continued to show no mercy.
For a second time, Oliveira launched another goal for the young Socceroos, sending a through ball to the net of Qatar.
Substitute Jonny Lull also got to tap in a goal, spoiling the game to 6-1.
In the 80th minute, Austrilia’s Gabriel Popovic finally secured an opportunity after countless misses, striking in a shot from point-blank range.
Archie Goodwin fettered the eighth goal while Alexander Badolato edged the final icing on the cake with a shot in the 92nd minute.
A dismal performance by Qatar raised questions about the state of football within the country, with several local fans addressing the failure to deliver by the national team.
“Sending some players to train with European clubs a few months ahead of the tournament didn’t help. Qatar’s youth sides failed to produce anything near what Felix Sanchez’s team achieved in 2014,” journalist Mohamed El Gharbawy wrote on his social media account.
Other accounts cited that the tournament indicated a decline in the country’s football abilities.
“The rapid decline of Qatari football? – Decimation at the World Cup – Al-Duhail’s 7-0 defeat in the #ACL2022 – 9-1 defeat to Australia at the #AFCU20, eliminated without a win. It’s been coming though; exiting winless at the last two #AFCU23, pretty poor at the recent Gulf Cup,” football commentator Martin Lowe wrote.
Indeed there has been a shift in performance by the Maroons, and attention to the endless defeats may invite a complete reconstruction by the Qatar football governing bodies.