By Sports Reporter/Doha
Uruguayan Jorge Fossati has been handed the task of reviving Qatar’s qualifying campaign after the team crashed to back-to-back defeats in their first two matches on the road to Russia 2018.
The Qatar Football Association confirmed Fossati’s appointment via Twitter yesterday following the sacking of his compatriot Jose Daniel Carreno on Friday.
“Mr. Jorge Fossati is Back officially to be the Head coach of our National team,” the QFA said on its Twitter feed without revealing any details of the agreement.
Fossati, 63, was the frontrunner to succeed Carreno after his exit which followed two straight defeats against Iran and Uzbekistan. The losses left Qatar at the bottom of Group A in the final phase of qualification, with an away match against strong South Korea scheduled next month.
The 2-0 defeat to Iran in Tehran was particularly embarrassing because both the goals came in second-half injury-time as a result of some shoddy defending.
It was a match which Qatar dominated at the imposing 128,000 capacity Azadi Stadium but poor finishing let them down before Iran secured three points with two goals in injury time.
A few days in Doha, Qatar again dominated before falling to a 1-0 defeat against Uzbekistan.
Rumours about Carreno’s imminent exit began to circulate after the Uzbekistan defeat, but it was only on Friday that the QFA confirmed the decision, saying they were trying to replace him with Fossati in a desperate bid to bring the qualifying campaign back on track.
Fossati, who has been in charge of Qatar Stars League champions Al Rayyan, will begin his second spell with the Qatar national team on Sunday, having managed it earlier in 2007-8.
Fossati is highly rated in the Gulf, and has also coached in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Last season he took Al Rayyan, one of Qatar’s biggest clubs, to the Qatar Stars League title after a gap of 20 years without winning the championship.
It had been speculated that he may retain his job at Al Rayyan and take charge of Qatar temporarily as the emirate faces three Word Cup qualifiers in the next two months, away to South Korea and China and home to Syria. However it was unclear yesterday if that was the case. (With inputs from AFP)
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