Monday, March 4, 2024

Preparations for the 2023 Asian Cup complete…Lebanon-Qatar showdown at the start

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The 18th edition of the Asia Cup will begin on Friday, January 12 and continue until February 10 in the State of Qatar.

The Doha Asian Cup is slated to host 51 matches across 9 venues, led by the Lusail Stadium, which saw the 2022 World Cup final between Argentina and France, and will see the opening match between the host nation and Lebanon.

24 teams qualified for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup through qualifiers held between 2022 and 2023.

The 24 teams participating in the Asia Cup finals have earlier announced their squads for the continental tournament in Doha.

Al-Moyes Ali in Qatar's national team, along with midfielder Akram Afif, the best player and top scorer in the last edition, Japan's national team includes a team with the presence of many professional players in Europe, and Australia's national team relies on. A mix of experienced stars and young players.

Striker Son Heung-min will lead the South Korean national team, which is looking to end the crowning era and claim the third title in the tournament's history, while Salem Al-Dosari stands at the top. Iran's national team is led by Mehdi Taremi, while the Saudi national team is looking for a fourth title.

The final list of referees for the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 finals includes five key referees at continental and international levels.

Qatari referee Abdul Rahman Al-Jassim, Iranian Ali Reza Faghani, Emirati Mohammad Abdullah Hassan, Chinese referee Manning and Japanese Yoshimi Yamashita top the list.

The opening match between Qatar and Lebanon

The 2023 Asian Cup will kick off with an expected clash between Qatar and Lebanon, the host nation at the Lusail Stadium in Qatar's first group matches.

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In this context, the Qatari football team continued its preparations on Tuesday to face its Lebanese opponents within the first group matches that include China and Tajikistan.

The Qatar team trained at the grounds of the Aspire Sports Excellence Academy under the leadership of its Spanish coach Bartolome Marquez Lopez, who is looking to bring all the players to the level of readiness required for a strong entry into the continental battlefield.

Spaniard Lopez was eager to give a detailed assessment of the team's performance during the friendly matches between Cambodia and Jordan, as he previously faced the Cambodian national team on the 31st of last month and conceded three goals. One goal, two goals for the Jordanian team.

Today, the 2019 Asian Cup winners entered their official home at the continental tournament at the Messeela Hotel in Doha and will train throughout the tournament at the Aspire Training Centre.

Qatar National Team Final List

A few days ago, coach Marquez Lopez announced the final roster, which included goalkeepers: Saad Al-Shayb and Mishal Barshim (Al-Saad), and Salah Zakaria (Al-Tuhail).

In the defensive line: Mahdi Ali and Lucas Mendes (Al-Waqra), Boulem Gouqi, Pedro Miguel and Tariq Salman (Al-Saad), Sultan Al-Breq (Al-Tuhail), Hammam Al-Amin (Al-Qarafa), and Bassam. Al-Rawi (al-Rayyan).

In the middle: Ahmad Fathi and Jassim Jafar (al-Arabi), Abdul Aziz Hadem (al-Rayyan), Hassan al-Haydos, Ali Asad, Muhammad Wad, Mustafa Meshaal (al-Saad), and Khaled Muhammad (al-Tuhail) )

In attack: Ahmad al-Janhi and Ahmad Ala (al-Karafa), Akram Afif and Yusuf Abdel-Razaq (al-Saad), al-Muays Ali and Ismail Muhammad (al-Tuhail), and Khaled Munir (al-Waqra) )

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Lebanon national team

For his part, Rashid Nasser, director of the Lebanese national football team, expressed his happiness with the conditions provided by the Qatari government in the preparations before the start of the eighteenth Asian Cup.

In a statement to Qatar News Agency (QNA), Nasser added: “We have prepared well, we have tried to intensify our preparations recently, and we will face great difficulties in all aspects against Qatar, who are trying to defend their title. We are confident that the match will witness great excitement at the technical level and ahead of the encounter will help both sides reach a satisfactory conclusion to what will be a tough match. Between the Chinese and Tajik teams, our goal is to overcome the barrier of the first round.”

Nasser explained: “We have recently played a number of matches against the Qatari national team, whether friendly or official, and last time we faced them during the opening game of our 2019 campaign at the Emirates.”

Nazar pointed out that the national team's technical staff, led by Montenegrin coach Miodrak Radulovic, settled on a final roster of 26 players after changes with the appearance of some injured players.

The list of goalkeepers includes Mahdi Khalil, Mustafa Matar (Al-Ahed), and Ali Al-Sabah (Al-Najma) from Jordanian Al-Faisali.

The defensive line consists of Hussain Zain and Noor Mansour (Al-Ahed), Qasim Al-Zain and Maher Sabra (Al-Najma), Hassan Shaito (Al-Safa), Alex Melki and Nasser Nasser (Al-Ansar).

As for the midfield, Walid Shore, Hassan Sorour, Felix Melki, Muhammad Haider (Al-Ahed), Ali Tanish, Yahya Al-Hindi (Al-Ansar), Muhammad Ali Al-Tahini (Swedish Trelleborg), Jihad Ayub (Indonesian PS .S Salman).

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In the forward line, Hassan Matthook (Al-Ansar), Basil Jaradi (Bangkok United, Thailand), Ali Al-Haj (Al-Ahed), Hilal Al-Hilwe (Al-Burj), Hassan “Sonny” Saad (Penang, Malaysia), Daniel Lahoud (Atlante, Mexico), Gabriel Bitar (Vancouver FC, Canada), Omar Shaban Bugal (IFC Wimbledon, England).

It is noteworthy that the Lebanese team played 6 games in the Asian Cup, winning one, drawing two, losing three, scoring 7 goals and conceding 12 times. Its player, Abbas Sharor, scored the team's first goal in the Asian Cup. Hilal Al-Helwe scored the last goal for the Lebanese national team.

Camelia Garner
Camelia Garner
"Explorer. Problem solver. Certified reader. Incurable web expert. Subtly charming travel guru. General student. Twitter evangelist."

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