By Sports Reporter/Doha
Qatar’s Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-16 Championship Group E qualifiers got off to a disastrous start after the hosts were comprehensively beaten 1-6 by Yemen.
At the Grand Hamad stadium yesterday, Qatar began on a confident note, dictating the pace of the game. They, in fact, took the lead as early as the seventh minute through a wonderful strike by Jassim Fahad al-Zarra.
But Yemen hit back twice in the space of ten minutes. Osamah Samer al-Baadani equalised in the 18th minute through a set-piece though the defender was off-side as he collected the ball and put it past Qatari goalkeeper. Yemen went ahead in the 28th minute after Sultan Yousef Thabit converted a penalty.
Qatar stayed in the game and had couple of chances to found the equaliser but its forwards lacked the finishing touch as they trailed a goal behind at half-time.
Post-interval, though, Qatari boys crumbled as Yemen players found their scoring boots. In the 67th minute, Tamer Nadhel Senan made a superb solo run from the midfield as he ran past clueless Qatari defence to slot it easily past goalkeeper and give Yemen a 3-1 lead.
But the goal of the match came from Yahya Esam al-Baleet. In the 82nd minute, al-Baleet took the ball from the left flank and struck a spectacular goal from outside the box to the top right of the post.
Osamah Samer al-Baadani and Hamzah Mohamed Sabah completed the rout by scoring Yemen’s fifth and sixth goal respectively in the closing stages.
With UAE’s no show, Bangaldesh got a walkover yesterday. Qatar’s next match was scheduled against UAE on Friday, but with the Emiratis not making it to Doha, the hosts’ final group game will be against Bangladesh on Sunday. Tomorrow Yemen, will take on Bangladesh with a victory against South Asians sealing their place for the next year’s main event in Malaysia. Ten group winners and five best second-placed teams will advance to the finals in Malaysia.
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