Qatar 1-0 Luxembourg: 2022 World Cup hosts make winning start to bizarre European qualifying campaign for their OWN tournament as Mohammed Muntari strikes in Hungary
- Qatar was invited to participate in the European qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup
- As hosts, they are already in, but it offers a range of games for them to play
- Mohammed Muntari’s strike defeated Luxembourg in an even match in Hungary
Qatar made a winning start to the European qualifier for the 2022 World Cup when Mohammed Muntari scored the only goal in Debrecen.
UEFA invited Qatar, hosts of the 2022 World Cup, to the European qualifying campaign with manager Felix Sanchez eager to take a look at his side a year after their showpiece.
The move reflects France’s approach to the 2016 European Championship they hosted.
Qatar made a winning start to their bizarre European qualifying campaign for the 2022 World Cup
Mohammed Muntari scored the only goal of the game against Luxembourg on Wednesday
Qatar gave a good impression of themselves as they continue to prepare for the World Cup
The matches are essentially glorified friendlies with two more matches against Azerbaijan on March 27 and the Republic of Ireland on March 30. Portugal and Serbia are the other two teams in Qatar’s group.
Due to travel restrictions, their match with Luxembourg took place in Debrecen, Hungary, and it was a goal that tore the teams apart and Muntari found the back of the net in the first half.
Prior to the game, Sanchez promised that these games would be played with great seriousness – even if the result was not of great importance.
“We will play in these qualifiers with a strong team and will strive for good results, just like in all other matches,” he said.
The game was played behind closed doors in Debrecen, Hungary, due to travel restrictions
Luxembourg tried to rally, hitting both the crossbar and the post as they set out to score an equalizer
Although the results are not counted in the group’s ranking, it will not hinder work and development and provide opportunities for players.
Qatar started well here, taking an early lead when Muntari penalized a mistake in the Luxembourg defense.
Luxemburg reacted and hit the bar, but that turned out to be in vain when they crashed during half-time. They eventually went back to 10 men to end a miserable night when Aldin Skenderovic picked up a second booking late.
Part of the reason Qatar loves to play these games is to work on their style and intensity prior to the World Cup.
They looked good for spells at Debrecen and the opportunities kept coming, with fullback Pedro Miguel getting close twice.
In the end it was a win for Qatar and they now have two qualifying matches to play this month