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Qatar’s Talal Al Baloushi and Thailand’s Teerasil Dangda vie for the ball during their international friendly match at Al Sadd Stadium in Doha yesterday. Qatar won 1-0. RIGHT: Thailand’s Jakkraphan Pornsai controls the ball during the same game. PICTURES: SHAIVAL DALAL
DOHA: A second-half goal yesterday helped Qatar edge past a spirited display by Thailand in their international friendly at Al Sadd Stadium.
Diminutive striker Khalfan Ibrahim found the net in the 56th minute as the home team walked off the pitch with a 1-0 win.
Ibrahim picked up a pass from Mohammed Elsayed and then went for top of the Thai net with a shot from inside the visitor’s box.
Both teams missed numerous chances to score but Qatar striker Sebastian Soria was the closest to netting one with a deft deflection that narrowly missed the goalpost of the Thai backline.
This was Qatar’s fourth successive win under coach Fahad Al Thani, who took over the reigns in late January.
Fahad replaced Brazilian Paulo Autuori who was removed as coach after Qatar failed to go past the group phase at 2013 Gulf Cup in Bahrain.
In late January, Qatar beat Lebanon in a friendly before crushing Malaysia 2-0 in their 2015 Asian Cup qualifier at the same venue last month.
On March 7, Qatar thrashed Bob Bradley’s Egypt, 3-1, at Al Gharafa Stadium.
The game yesterday was part of Qatar’s preparation for two away World Cup and Asian Cup qualifiers in the next seven days.
The Qatari squad will now travel to Manama to play Bahrain next Friday for the 2015 Asian Cup qualifiers. After that game, Qatar head to South Korea for a 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying fixture on March 26.
In a winning start to the Asian qualifiers last month, the boys in maroon overcame Malaysia 2-0 to top their group alongside Bahrain, who beat Yemen in the corresponding fixture.
Qatar sit fourth in their Asian Zone World Cup qualifiers’ group with seven points behind leaders Uzbekistan, South Korea and Iran.
Also known as ‘Al Anabi’, Qatar trail South Korea and Iran on goal difference, with the Koreans playing one game less.