Doha, Qatar: Asian champions Qatar are set to meet Iran in the final of Jordan International Quad Championship seeking a morale-boosting victory at the Amman International Stadium tonight.
The Carlos Queiroz-coached side booked their berth in the final with a 6-5 shootout win over Iraq after a goalless draw, before Iran defeated hosts Jordan 3-1 on Friday. The losing sides will also square off in a play-off today.
Qatar goalkeepers Meshaal Barsham (right), Salah Zakaria (centre) and Fahad Younes during yesterday's training session.
The competing teams are featuring in the tournament – part of international friendlies – to prepare for their 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers and the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 campaigns.
“This tournament is definitely an important opportunity for us to prepare for the Asian Cup and the World Cup Qualifiers,” Queiroz had said ahead of tournament.
Iran – placed 21st in the FIFA rankings - will be favourites against 61st ranked Qatar, coming to the final with a seven-match winning streak. Team Melli were also the winners in last five games against Qatar.
Today’s match will also mark the first time that Queiroz will face Iran after quitting as their coach following the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. The veteran Portuguese had two stints with Iran also leading the Asian giants in 2014 and 2018 World Cups.
Qatar coach Carlos Queiroz
Following victory over Iraq, Queiroz held a couple of training sessions with Al Annabi stepping up preparations during yesterday’s drills in the evening session.
Queiroz will be hoping Qatar put up a strong show and pull off a victory against favourites before they start their FIFA World Cup qualifying battle next month.
The veteran coach took a mix of experienced players and young talent to Jordan with stars Akram Afif, Hassan Al Haydos and Almoez Ali spearheading the frontline.
Al Sadd goalkeeper Meshaal Barsham, who blocked two shots to help Qatar win shootout against Iraq, is expected to play a crucial role in the match.
The final will kick off at 9pm following the play-off between Jordan and Iraq which will start at 5:30pm.