Monday’s match against Oman will determine Qatar’s position in Group E.
Qatar is playing against Oman at the Jassim bin Hamad Stadium in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers on Monday.
After a 1-0 victory against India on Thursday, Qatar’s national football team just needs a draw against Oman to maintain dominance over Group E of the Asian Qualifiers.
However, the Asian champions are keen to score maximum points in their final game at the Joint Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023.
Although they automatically qualify for the FIFA World Cup 2022 as the host nation, Qatar remains a favourite to win Group E, which will seal their place in the AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Finals.
Al Annabi are on top of Group E with 19 points after seven consecutive wins to date. Even if the Qatari team do not outscore their opponents in the match at 8pm, they will still be leading their group.
On the opposing side, Oman has secured 12 points from 5 games and still needs a victory against Qatar to keep their chances of topping the group.
Oman has defeated Thailand (1-0) and Indonesia (3-1) in friendlies ahead of the decisive match.
Qatar’s head coach Felix Sanchez hopes his team will continue with the good form they have maintained so far in the qualifying tournament.
“Oman is our main challenger in a contest to win the group, which makes our last group match crucial,” Sanchez told a pre-match press conference on Sunday.
“We will put our best effort to achieve good results in the match and conclude our group campaign on a high note,” he added.
In 2019, the national team defeated Oman 2-1 in the first-leg which took place at the Al Janoub Stadium. This will increase the champions confidence going into the match on Monday.
The coach, however, said players must show a strong performance against their opponents.
“Oman have undergone changes and they are a strong side. We must be at our best in the match,” the head coach said.
“It is going to be a different game as compared to the previous games and our players are motivated and ready for the challenge. We will do our best to win the match,” he noted.
Beside the Qatar-Oman match, India and Bangladesh will be playing at the same venue at 5pm.
The two teams will be competing for automatic places in the third round of qualifying for the AFC Asian Cup.
India – placed fourth in the group – collected three points from six matches while bottom-placed Bangladesh have earned only two points from as many matches.
The local organising committee of the tournament is allowing only 30% attending fans in line with Covid-19 guidelines and precautionary measures.
Meanwhile, the Qatar Football Association confirmed team midfielder Salem Al Hajri will miss this summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup due to Achilles injury.
“The team is supporting him and we hope he will recover as soon as possible and become available for the forthcoming matches,” said Sanchez.