Qatar survive Oman scare to move four points clear in World Cup qualifiers

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

Asian champions Qatar were made to work by Oman before claiming a 2-1 win that sees them claim a four-point lead at the top of Group E in the second round of Asian qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Entering Tuesday’s tie at the Al Janoub Stadium with just a one-point advantage over second-placed Oman, the Qataris could not have asked for a better start as Akram Afif fired them ahead inside two minutes.

But four minutes after the hour mark, Oman equalised through a brilliant individual effort from Al-Mundhir Al-Alawi, who had been bundled over outside the area but picked himself up and continued going – eventually leaving two defenders for dead before finishing past Saad Al-Sheeb.

Just when it looked like a draw could be on the cards, Almoez Ali – as he often does- emerged as the hero for Qatar with 19 minutes remaining, as he received possession inside the area and spun free before somehow squeezing a shot from an acute angle beyond Faiz Al-Rushaidi’s despairing dive into the far corner.

QATAR: Saad Al-Sheeb, Ro-Ro, Bassam Al-Rawi, Tarek Salman, Abdelkarim Hassan, Boualem Khoukhi, Abdulaziz Hatem (Karim Boudiaf 88’), Yusuf Abdurisag (Salem Al-Hajri 66’), Hassan Al-Haydos, Akram Afif, Almoez Ali (Ahmed Alaaeldin 90+2’).

OMAN: Faiz Al-Rushaidi, Harib Al-Saadi (Mohsin Al-Khaldi 85’), Amran Said Al-Hidi, Mohammed Al-Musalami, Ali Al-Busaidi, Abdulaziz Al-Gheilani, Ahmed Al-Mahaijri, Mohammed Al-Ghafri (Mohamed Khasib 74’), Abdul Aziz Al-Muqbali (Essam Al-Subhi 78’), Al-Mundhir Al-Alawi, Muhsen Al-Ghassani.

Photo credit: Asian Football Confederation