Qatar opened their AFC U23 Asian Cup Qatar 2024 Group A campaign with a convincing 2-0 win over Indonesia at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium on Monday.
Qatar took the lead just before the half-time break through Khaled Ali’s penalty, with Ahmed al-Rawi scoring the second with a stunning free-kick after Indonesia were reduced to 10 men a minute into the second half.
“The players fought hard for this well-deserved victory. We were better in the first-half as compared to the second-half,” Qatar coach Ilidio Vale said.
“As I said it earlier, we will take one step at a time and now we will have to focus on our next match which is against Jordan. It will be a tougher challenge for us.”
Qatar pressed Indonesia right from the get-go with Hashmi al-Hussain testing the ’keeper in the third minute. The young Maroons continued to find openings, but neither Mostafa Meshaal nor Mahdi Salem could beat goalkeeper Ernando Ari with their efforts in the 14th and 17th minutes respectively.
Al-Rawi should have opened the scoring just before the half-hour mark following a counter-attacking move, but the Al Rayyan forward couldn’t get his shot on target. Indonesia, however, began to find their footing and Qatari keeper Youssef Abdullah was forced into action by a Mohamed Ferarri header in the 36th minute, before Rafael Struick struck the upright three minutes later.
A foul by Indonesia captain Rizky Ridho on Salem, however, proved costly as Qatar were awarded a penalty after a VAR review, with Ali converting the spot-kick in added time.
Indonesia started the second half on an aggressive note but were dealt a blow when Ivar Jenner was given his marching orders after picking up his second yellow card seconds into the restart.
It became worse for Indonesia in the 54th minute when Witan Sulaeman fouled Meshaal some 30 yards out, with al-Rawi making up for his first half miss with a sublime free-kick that curled past the defence and into the bottom right corner.
A downside for Qatar, however, were injuries suffered by both scorers Ali and al-Rawi which could make them doubtful for Thursday’s match against Jordan while Indonesia lost Ramadhan Sananta after a VAR review saw the referee replace an initial yellow card with a red for the substitute’s wild lunge on Mohamed Aiash.

Australia 0-0 Jordan
Ten-man Jordan held on to record a 0-0 draw with Australia at Abdullah Bin Khalifa Stadium on Monday as the two nations shared the points in their opening Group A encounter on Monday. Jordan captain Danial Afaneh was sent off in the 82nd minute for a second bookable offence but Abdallah Abu Zema’s side kept the Olyroos at bay at the end of a cagey clash that yielded few clear-cut goal scoring opportunities for either side.
Jake Hollman side-footed his ninth minute effort into the hands of Jordan goalkeeper Ahmad Juaidi while moments later Nicolas Milanovic bent his attempt from distance over the bar as Australia dictated the opening exchanges.
The Olyroos shaded a tepid first half, with Alou Kuol’s weak header straight at Juaidi in the 20th minute the closest Tony Vidmar’s side would come to breaking the deadlock in the first 45 minutes.
Instead it was the Jordanians who almost found the opener a minute before the break.
Juaidi’s long punt forward bounced into the path of Mohannad Abu Taha and, after a cushioned header controlled the ball, the Al Wehdat midfielder stroked a left-foot shot towards the bottom corner that Patrick Beach did well to save low to his right. Beach was on hand to deny the Jordanians again seconds after the restart, palming Aref Haitham’s strike wide for a corner after the winger had turned past Jacob Farrell 15 yards from goal.
Baker Kamal Kalbouneh thumped his shot over the bar nine minutes into the second half and moments later the substitute headed into the Australian goal, only for his effort to be ruled out for offside. Kalbouneh’s pace and direct running gave the Jordanian attack a focal point that had been lacking prior to his introduction and kept the Australians pinned back until midway through the half, when Vidmar’s side started to find ways through the West Asian side’s defence.
Lachlan Brook was denied by Juaidi when he dropped to his left to steer the Australian’s shot from 20 yards around the post while substitute Mohamed Toure side-footed over the bar after Callum Talbot had found him in space on the edge of the area 12 minutes from time.
Afaneh, who had been booked in the first half for a foul on Kuol, saw red with eight minutes remaining when he again challenged the Australian striker illegally as he burst through from midfield but the Jordanians held out to share the points.
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