[QODLink]
Football
Qatar World Cup hopes still burning
A Sebastian Soria strike gives Qatar three points and keeps them in the fight for a place at the 2014 Brazil World Cup.
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2012 18:16
Qatar's Sebastian Soria celebrates winner against Lebanon in Group A qualifier [Reuters]

Qatar kept alive their slim hopes of making the 2014 World Cup finals with a 1-0 win over Lebanon in their Group A qualifier on Wednesday.

A brilliant 75th minute strike from their Uruguayan-born striker Sebastian Soria gave Qatar three points which took the 2022 World Cup hosts' tally to seven in the five-team group which also includes South Korea, Iran and Uzbekistan.

The Iranians host the Uzbeks later on Wednesday.

Lebanon are the only team Qatar have beaten in the final phase of qualifying, Wednesday's win being their second over Theo Bucker's side following their 1-0 victory in June where Soria had also scored.

Soria's goal here was a terrific solo effort that began outside the Qatar penalty area saw him advance with the ball a considerable distance before his cracking 40-yarder slammed into the net stunning the Lebanon defence.

An ecstatic Soria ran up to the stands for an extended celebration with his family members.

Close shave

Qatar could have doubled the margin a few moments later but the Ghana-born Lawrence Quaye found his shot, from a Soria pass, blocked by the Lebanon goalkeeper Abbas Hassan.

Qatar, however, survived a close shave later when veteran midfielder Roda Antar's powerful drive brought out a splendid save from goalkeeper Qassim Burhan, his diving effort saving a sure-shot goal.

"This was a much needed win for us and thanks to Sebastian we are now alive in the qualifiers"

Qatar coach Paulo Autuori

Qatar had another chance to increase their lead in stoppage time in the second-half but Quaye's shot from outside the penalty area went wide.

"This was a much needed win for us and thanks to Sebastian we are now alive in the qualifiers," said Qatar coach Paulo Autuori.

"We should have played much better but a win is a win," the Brazilian said.

Lebanon coach Bucker was in awe of Qatar's facilities, complaining before the match that his team only had one natural grass ground to train on back home.

But on Wednesday he offered no excuses, praising Soria's strike, which proved the difference between the two teams.

"The match could have gone anyway but Soria's goal proved decisive. You cannot do anything in such a situation."

394

Source:
AFP
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.