Sanchez pleased as Qatar returns to competitive action with easy win

A deflected effort in the ninth minute from Abdulaziz Hatem set Qatar on its way in Doha before Afif and Ali claimed a brace each to secure all three points.

Qatar coach Felix Sanchez.   -  REUTERS

Qatar coach Felix Sanchez was a very happy man on Friday as the 2022 World Cup host made a return to competitive action for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began with a comfortable 5-0 win over Bangladesh.

A deflected effort in the ninth minute from Abdulaziz Hatem set Qatar on its way in Doha before reigning Asian Player of the Year Akram Afif and Almoez Ali claimed a brace each to secure all three points.

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“I'm happy with the return of official matches along with the big win and the performance of the young players,” Sanchez said.

“They had a good match physically and mentally. All I wanted today from the players is to give their best and have a good performance. However, we could have scored more than five goals.”

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While Qatar earn an automatic spot at the World Cup as host, the Gulf state is playing in Asia's qualifying competition for the finals as it doubles up as the preliminary rounds for the Asian Cup finals in China in 2023.

The result moves Qatar on to 16 points from its six games, four points clear of Oman at the top of Group E.

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