World Cup host Qatar started its preparations for this grand football tournament in a disastrous manner. In a practice match, Qatar suffered an unimaginable defeat against Northern Irish football club Linfield.
The Qatar football team was easily outplayed by Linfield as the Northern Irish champions pulled off an incredible 1-0 win in the Spanish city of Marbella on Tuesday.
Chris McKee’s goal in the first half by former Rangers was enough to secure a crucial victory for the Belfast-based club. Qatar, on the other hand, had fielded a strong side but still, they could not manage to find the much-awaited equalizer.
Qatar, which is ranked 51st in the FIFA world rankings, included seven footballers who made their debut against Slovenia in March and are also expected to be in the first team for the national side at the upcoming 2022 World Cup. Qatar and Slovenia played out a 1-1 draw in that match.
Linfield has also been able to secure the coveted Irish Premiership over the past four seasons. Linfield’s win against Qatar was not his first victory against a national side. Prior to this, Linfield had won 1–0 against Kenya in 2002. In 1990, they also played against then-world champions Argentina, but Diego Maradona’s team was able to win 1–0 in that fixture.
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Linfield is currently holding his pre-season training camp in Spain and for the Northern Irish club, this win against Qatar is crucial as they prepare for a Champions League first round qualifier against The New Saints.
David Healy’s boys will face the Welsh football team in two stages on 5 July and 13 July.
Qatar, on the other hand, must improve their performance in the upcoming World Cup to perform better in front of their home spectators.
The 2022 World Cup is set to begin on November 21 and Felix Sanchez’s men will take on Ecuador on the opening day of the tournament. Hosts Qatar will take on Senegal in their second match of the event.
Qatar are placed in Group A along with Senegal, Netherlands and Ecuador. Senegal will face the Netherlands in the first match of the tournament.
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