Qatar still have hope
Qatar insist they have not given up hope of World Cup qualification despite having to field a young and inexperienced side against the Qantas Socceroos on Sunday (AEST).
DUBAI, June 5 AAP - Qatar insist they have not given up hope of World Cup qualification despite having to field a young and inexperienced side against the Qantas Socceroos on Sunday (AEST).
The Qataris sit last in the Asia's Group A and almost certainly need to win their final two matches against the Qantas Socceroos and Japan to finish third and reach a playoff against a group B team.
It's a dire situation for coach Bruno Metsu, who has named a squad missing five of his seasoned campaigners.
Former Asian Player of the Year Khalfan Ibrahim, Abdullah Kone and Mustafa Abdi are all out with knee injuries while former captain Saad Al Shammari and Egyptian-based Hussein Yasser have been overlooked.
But Metsu is confident his team, likely to be captained by star player Sebastian Soria Quintana, can be competitive.
"I have tested some of these youngsters in friendly matches against Saudi Arabia and Iraq which we won 2-1 and 1-0 respectively and they are ready for the qualifiers," Metsu said.
The Frenchman's 24-member squad featured several new faces, including promising 23-year-old Majid Mohammad and teenage defender Ibrahim Majid, who scored the match-winner against Iraq.
Defender Bilal Mohammed said the players still had the belief to get the points needed to keep their World Cup dream alive.
The Gulf nation has never qualified for the World Cup finals.
"It's a matter of calculations," Mohammed said.
"We still stand a chance despite the critical situation we've placed ourselves in.
"Winning the next fixture against Australia would serve as the augment we need to accomplish what seems daunting in Japan, but we have to do things one at a time."
Possible Qatar team: Oasim Burhan (gk), Bilal Mohammad, Ahmed Al Fariz, Meshal Mubarak, Ibrahim Majid, Fabio Cesar, Mohammed Abdulrab, Ali Afif, Majid Mohammed, Sebastian Soria Quintana, Yousef Ahmed.