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Egypt’s Hossam Ashour (right) fights for the ball with Qatar’s Khalfan Ibrahim during their international friendly football match at Al Gharafa Stadium, yesterday. A spirited performance helped Qatar beat Egypt 3-1. Rami Rabia gave the visitors the lead but Qatar bounced back with goals from Abdel Karim Hassan, Ibrahim Maged and Yousef Ahmed.
DOHA: A spirited performance helped Qatar yesterday beat Egypt 3-1 in an international friendly at Al Gharafa Stadium.
Egypt, coached by Bob Bradley, opened the scoring from a freak deflection from close range by Rami Rabia in just the third minute of the match but the home team hit back with three goals.
In the 29th minute, striker Khalfan Ibrahim curled in a corned kick which was expertly deflected home by Abdel Karim Hassan who jumped high to head the ball.
Later in the second half, Ibrahim provided another perfect corner kick which was met with a snap-header by Ibrahim Maged as Qatar jumped to a 2-1 lead in the 53rd minute.
Both players involved in the second goal for Qatar were later benched by coach Fahad Al Thani.
In injury time, Qatar sealed their win with a close-range strike by Yousef Ahmed who fired home after a pass from Hassan inside the Egypt box.
Minutes before the third goal, Qatar’s Mohammed Razzq fired a bullet from close range but his shot was parried away to safety by the Egypt goalkeeper.
It was coach Fahad’s second successive win with the national side following Qatar’s 2-0 win over Malaysia in their 2015 Asian Cup qualifying match last match.
Fahad took over the reigns of the national side after Paulo Autuori failed to help Qatar go past the group phase at the Gulf Cup held in Bahrain in January this year.
Yesterday’s 2-1 win was a welcome relief for Qatar who lost to the Pharoahs 2-0 in their friendly in Doha on December 28, 2012.
Qatar take on Thailand in another home friendly on March 18 as the team prepares for two key international games later this month.
Also known as ‘Al Anabi’, Qatar host Bahrain in a 2015 Asian Cup qualifying match on March 22.
Four days later, Qatar play hosts Korea in a 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying match in Seoul on March 26. Meanwhile, Qatar winger Hamid Ismail yesterday said his team’s 3-1 win over Egypt was ‘good practice’ as boys in maroon prepare for two key matches later this month.
“The match was very tough. Our team enjoyed this keen tussle,” Ismail said after the match.
“We played to a plan and the best part is that Egypt had good fan support. But this was good training for us as we have important matches coming up,” the Al Rayyan winger said.
Egyptian football analyst Ayman said on a local channel yesterday: “I think the Qatar coach (Fahad Al Thani) gave the players a fair run. Coordination among the (Qatari) players was good. Egypt team struggled fitness-wise because of lack of football in recent times. And there are many players who are not professional in the real sense.”
Egypt manager Bob Bradley named 18 players for yesterday’s friendly, including eight newcomers.The Peninsula