Qatar will take on Egypt in a friendly international today in preparation for their crucial Asian and World Cup qualifiers later this month. The match will be played at Al Gharafa Stadium at 6.45pm.
This is the second friendly Qatar will be playing against Egypt in a space of two and half months. Egypt won the December 28 clash 2-0
Since then, however, Qatar have a new coach after Paulo Autuori was sacked. Now under Fahad Thani, the team have shown signs of improvement. They beat Malaysia last month on their opening Asian Cup qualifying match and are raring to go against The Pharaohs.
For Egypt, too, the Qatar friendly offers a chance to fine-tune their preparations for their African World Cup qualifying match against Zimbabwe on March 26.
Egypt top Group G with six points from two games, three ahead of second-placed Guinea. Zimbabwe and Mozambique have one point each.
Egypt coach Bob Bradley named an 18-man-squad for today’s friendly, with as many as eight called up from leading club Al Ahly who are having an extended break from the league.
No Zamalek, Ismaily or foreign-based players were listed in the squad as they were excused for having crucial league games this week.
Meanwhile Qatar had extensive training sessions under the watchful eyes of coach Thani at Aspire Zone.
On Tuesday, Thani was present at the football training headquarters as the squad underwent fitness drills that involved cycling under the sun. The Qatari players later carried out further running drills.
Team manager Abdul Rehman al-Mahmood later met with the team coach.
Qatar will meet Bahrain in an Asian Cup qualifying match on March 22 followed by their must-win World Cup qualifying match against South Korea four days later.