19 Sep 2022
Qatar U-20 National Team, comprised of Aspire Academy graduates, has qualified for the 2023 AFC Under-20 Asian Cup in Uzbekistan.
The team won all four of their games in their qualifying group in Bahrain including a 2-0 win over the hosts that sealed their place in next year’s finals.
Qatar went into the final game knowing that a draw would be enough to win the group and qualify automatically for the finals, while Bahrain knew a win would take them top and automatic qualification.
After a goalless first-half Jassem Al Sharshani broke the deadlock two minutes after the break, before 2022 Aspire Academy graduate Ahmed Al-Rawi’s sixth goal of the tournament ensured the win.
The loss means that Bahrain finished second in the group but without enough points to secure a place in the finals as one of the best second-placed teams.
Qatar scored 14 goals in their four matches and conceded just once – and that was an own goal.
They opened with a 3-1 win over Nepal, thanks to goals from Mohammed Mansour, Mohammed Surag; and Rashid Al Abdulla with Al Sharshani, who was captain for the match, having the misfortune of scoring past his own keeper.
That win was followed with a 6-0 thrashing of Bhutan with Rashid Al -Abdulla, Jassem Al Sharshani, Mobrak Shanan all scoring before Al-Rayyan’s Ahmed Al-Rawi, grabbed two. The other goal of the match was an own goal.
Al-Rawi then scored all three goals in the 3-0 victory over Bangladesh to set-up the decider with hosts Bahrain.
Qatar will join hosts Uzbekistan as well as Saudi Arabia, Japan, Jordan, South Korea, Indonesia, Oman, Tajikistan, Iran, Vietnam, Kyrgyzstan, China and Syria in the finals. The final two places will be decided next month when Kuwait host Australia, India and Iraq in one last qualifying group.