8/23/2017 11:34:25 AM

Qatar play Turkmenistan in friendly ahead of World Cup qualifiers

Qatar play Turkmenistan in friendly ahead of World Cup qualifiers

Doha: Qatar will meet Turkmenistan in a friendly here on Wednesday and hope to be ready before their crucial 2018 FIFA World Cup Group B qualifier against Syria in Malaysia on August 31.

The match will be played behind closed doors as decided by the Qatar Football Association and team management.

Under makeshift coach Felix Sanchez, who piloted the Olympic team to the U23 Asian final rounds from the qualifiers here last month, Qatar will hope to win against the tough Syrians.

However, the team will be without experienced centre-back Ibrahim Majid, who is serving a one-match suspension.

Midfielder Ahmed Moein, who suffered a shoulder injury during the AFC U23 qualifying tournament here last month, is also unlikely to feature against Syria.

Qatar languish in the fifth position in the six-team group, but their win against South Korea last month have given them the slightest glimmer of hope.

Victories in the next two matches along with favourable results elsewhere can still give them third place in the group and a play-off spot, however, it’s a difficult proposition.

“All we can do is to win out next two games and hope for favourable results from the other matches, but this is not an ideal scenario,” said Sanchez.

Besides six points from the next two games, Qatar also need Uzbekistan to lose points in both their matches — against China and South Korea — to have any hopes of going to Russia.

Qatar, who returned from an extensive training camp in Birmingham, play China at Khalifa International Stadium on September 5.


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