Qatar won its first match at the European qualifiers on Wednesday, snatching a 1-0 against Luxembourg.
Qatar’s national football team secured a 1-0 victory against Luxembourg in its first face-off at the European qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup 2022.
— Qatar Football Association (@QFA_EN) March 24, 2021
Striker Mohammed Muntari put Qatar ahead just 12 minutes into the game with a side-footed shot.
As the host nation, Qatar automatically qualifies to play in the 2022 global sporting event but has been invited to Europe for some friendly game time with seasoned European teams.
The 2019 Asian Cup winners are now scheduled to play against Azerbaijan and the Republic of Ireland at the Nagyerdei Stadion, Debrecen in the coming days.
“First of all, the national team players are used to this situation (of playing three matches within a week). The players have been playing this kind of format for some time now,” Qatar’s national team coach, Felix Sanchez, said during a press conference held in Hungary on Tuesday.
“They are used to playing 3-4 matches in a short period of time. That is not going to be an issue. We have a good number of (28) players here so we can change players when we want to,” the Spaniard added.
Sanchez described the upcoming game as an “exciting challenge” as matches have been stalled in the last period because of Covid-19 situation.
The coach said his team’s participation in Europe will be taken seriously despite the points not counting towards the tournament.
“Obviously we take it as an official tournament for us. We are here to compete and play 10 games. We will see how many points we get in the tournament and that is our target,” Sanchez said on Tuesday.
“We want results that we are happy with. We will try to compete in every game. We will try to do well. The players will have to show they are here to optimise their level so that they can help the national team in the future,” Sanchez said.
Due to the Covid-19, Qatar’s national team only played four international games last year. Wednesday’s match against Luxembourg was the first since beating Bangladesh 5-0 in December.