By Fawad Hussain I The Peninsula
Doha: Qatar resisted Thailand well to share points as the Group B opponents played out a 1-1 draw in their opening football match at the Asian Games at Pakan Sari Stadium in Bogor, Indonesia yesterday.
Qatar, without their key players like Al Moez Ali, Akram Afif, Bassam Al Rawi and Abdullah Abdulsalam who stayed back home for their participation in Al Sadd and Al Duhailâ€™s AFC Champions League querter-finals clashes â€“ got an early lead which was levelled late by Thailand in an absorbing battle.
Al Anabi young guns went ahead in just the 6th minute of the match with Hazem Shehata giving team the lead.
Midfielder Nasser Al Nasr lobbed the ball over Thailandâ€™s Nopphon Phonkam to an unmarked Shehata in the box, who then made no mistake with a left-footed strike from close range to score the opener.
Qatar went into the second session with a 1-0 lead and had to cope up with a different Thailand side which launched several attacks searching the leveler, but substitute goalkeeper Marwan Badreldin did well to block multiple shots on the goal by the Thais. Supachok Sarachat, Supachai Chaided and Montree Promsawat came close to scoring but were denied goal by the Qatari goalkeeper.
However, Thailandâ€™s repeated attacks yielded result in second minute of added time when skipper Tanasith Siripala sent a superb cross into the box, and Chaided rose highest to head the ball in to level the match.
Qatar will play Uzbekistan tomorrow in their second group B match.
In other match, Uzbekistan claimed full points after defeating Bangladesh 3-0 in second group B match. The Uzbeks were in the groove from the start with Zabikhillo Urinboev their most dangerous player and Bangladesh goalkeeper Ashraful Islam Rana had to make several saves to prevent his team from conceding early.
However, Uzbekistanâ€™s sustained pressure saw Urinboev finding the back of the net in the 23rd minute at the Pakan Sari Stadium. Bangladesh defended valiantly for the remainder of the first half but Ravshan Khaydarovâ€™s charges found their second in the 57th minute with Dostonbek Khamdamov their scorer.
That was soon followed by the third, with Ikromjon Alibaevâ€™s effort sealing the three points in the 66th minute.
Elsewhere, there were wins for Vietnam, China PR, Japan and Syria yesterday.
China PR beat Timor-Leste 6-0 and Syria defeated the United Arab Emirates 1-0 in Group C while Vietnam tamed Pakistan 3-0 and Japan overcame a fighting Nepal 1-0 in Group D.
Source: The Peninsula Qatar