Seven teams book their spots at the FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021™
The line-up for the FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021™ has been confirmed after qualifying matches were held in Doha.
Bahrain, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Oman, Palestine and Sudan booked their spots at the tournament, which will take place in December – during the same timeslot as the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.
Nine teams had already qualified for the tournament, thanks to their FIFA World Ranking: Qatar, Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.
The showpiece tournament, which will be held at six Qatar 2022 stadiums, will support the country’s FIFA World Cup™ preparations and showcase the region’s passion for football.
Here, qatar2022.qa reviews the play-off matches, which took place at Khalifa International Stadium and Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium from 19-25 June.
19 June – Libya 0-1 Sudan – Khalifa International Stadium
This all-African affair at Qatar’s national stadium saw Sudan edge Libya by a goal to nil after an evenly-matched encounter.
Mohamed Abdelrahman’s first-half penalty was enough to secure the Falcons of Jediane’s spot in Group D alongside African rivals Algeria and Egypt, as well as fellow qualifiers Lebanon.
20 June – Oman 2-1 Somalia – Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium
Oman completed a successful month in Doha by securing their place in the tournament with a 2-1 victory over Somalia. Mohsen Al Ghasani put the Reds into an early lead before they doubled their advantage, thanks to a penalty from Salaah Al Yahyaei.
Abel Gigli gave Somalia hope with a superb header early in the second half, but the Ocean Stars were unable to equalize, as Oman booked their place in Group A alongside Qatar, Iraq and Bahrain.
21 June – Jordan 3-0 South Sudan (forfeit)
Following the confirmation of COVID-19 cases among members of the South Sudan team and staff, the FIFA Bureau for Men’s Senior Tournaments declared this qualification match a forfeit, with Jordan awarded a 3-0 victory. The Chivalrous will take their place in Group C alongside Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Palestine.
22 June – Mauritania 2-0 Yemen – Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium
Goals from Ismael Diakite and Hemeya Tanjy earned Mauritania a 2-0 win over ten-man Yemen to secure their spot in Group B alongside Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Syria.
The Lions of Chinguetti opened the scoring after 18 minutes, as Diakite latched on to Adama Ba’s superb forward ball before finding the back of the net. Yemen’s task of getting back into the contest was hampered further when Mudir Al Radaei was sent off for handball shortly before half-time.
It was not until the late stages that the Africans confirmed their qualification though, as Tanjy’s low drive slipped under Yemen goalkeeper Khairalah Mohammed to seal victory.
23 June – Lebanon 1-0 Djibouti – Khalifa International Stadium
Lebanon took their place in Group D alongside Algeria, Egypt and Sudan after edging Djibouti 1-0 in a hard-fought contest, with the Africans producing the best scoring opportunities in the first half.
The Cedars claimed victory with a moment of brilliance from Hilal Al Helwe, as he volleyed home Mohamad Haidar's lobbed pass shortly after half-time. Djibouti came close to equalising ten minutes later, but Lebanon goalkeeper Mehdi Khalil denied Mahabeh Mahdi at close range.
24 June – Palestine 5-1 Comoros – Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium
Palestine produced the most emphatic result of the qualifiers after coming from behind to defeat Comoros 5-1 to take their place in Group C alongside Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Jordan.
It was Comoros who opened the scoring through an early Moussa Djoumoi strike, but that only seemed to motivate the Lions of Canaan to take control of the contest. Layth Kharoub equalised for Palestine on 34 minutes before Oday Dabbagh put the Middle East side into a half-time lead with a brilliant individual effort.
Palestine’s desire to score fine goals continued after the break, as Tamer Seyam converted a lovely glancing header from Dabbagh’s excellent cross. Seyam found the Comoros net again on 71 minutes from a Dabbagh pass before Islam Batran’s perseverance in the Comoros six-yard box paid off, as he struck Palestine’s fifth goal in the late stages.
25 June – Bahrain 2-0 Kuwait – Khalifa International Stadium
Bahrain left it late to make their dominance count in the final qualification match, defeating Gulf rivals Kuwait 2-0 and booking their spot in Group A alongside Qatar, Iraq and Oman.
There was nothing to separate the two sides until the late stages when Ali Haram’s clinical finish on 73 minutes put Bahrain in the driving seat. Sayed Hashim assured victory for the Red Wolves when he neatly converted a clever corner kick routine.