Doha, Qatar – As Qatar prepares for a must-win second match of the World Cup on house soil, the Al Annabi followers are rallying behind the crew with hopes and expectations.
Qatar opened the event with a 2-0 defeat in opposition to Ecuador on Sunday. They now face Senegal in its second match of Group A on Friday.
A loss on Friday will put Qatar out of the working for a spot within the spherical of 16. Nonetheless, regardless of the duty readily available, followers have come out in help of the house crew.
“We don’t need to carry them below any strain that they have to win, we simply need them to have a very good recreation,” Ali Ghanem, a teenage fan of the house crew, instructed Al Jazeera.
Qatar is making its World Cup debut by advantage of being the host and is likely one of the lowest-ranked groups within the event.
Regardless of being the present Asian champions and having improved their rankings in the previous couple of years, Al Annabi have been unable to deal with the strain the event brings.
Whereas captain Hassan Al-Haydos, Akram Afif, Saad Al-Sheeb and Almoez Ali could also be family names within the Gulf state, none of them has performed membership soccer exterior Qatar and are comparatively unknown to the skin world.
In accordance with Amine, a Tunisian fan, having the world’s eyes on them for the primary time made the crew nervous.
“It was a historic second for them. Now, with the primary match gone, Qatari individuals ought to let the crew go and luxuriate in themselves as a substitute of anticipating them to win,” he mentioned.
Ismaeel Mohammad, a Qatari crew member, known as on the followers to get behind the crew.
“Our crew wants its followers now greater than ever,” he mentioned throughout a information convention on the eve of the match.
Followers duly obliged and turned out to help their crew in Doha’s Musheireb space on Thursday night. They walked all the way down to the Al Annabi Village, a fan zone for Qatar’s supporters at Musheireb, with their maroon and white Qatar flags.
Massive video screens on the fan zone confirmed the crew’s achievements on the Asian Cup and the Arab Cup as followers sang alongside to well-liked songs.
Qatar’s coach Felix Sanchez admitted his crew crumbled below strain in opposition to Ecuador.
“We hope that now we’re free from all this strain that we had within the opening match,” he instructed reporters on Thursday.
“I hope we are able to compete and present that we will be extra aggressive than the opposite day, no matter what’s the consequence.”
If Qatar fails to win, it’s going to turn out to be solely the second host nation after South Africa (2010) to crash out on the first hurdle.
The crew mentioned it’s going to attempt to take inspiration from Saudi Arabia, which beat Argentina 2-1 of their opening match in addition to the opposite Arab groups who’ve executed nicely within the event.
Sonia Nemmas, a Jordanian mom of three football-mad ladies, mentioned her household has all the time supported Qatar and has excessive hopes for the crew.
“In the event that they handle to get at the least one win and one draw from the remaining two matches, we should still [have] a miracle,” she mentioned.
Nemmas thinks Akram Afif and AbdelKarim Hassan would be the stand-out gamers for Qatar.
“Even when they handle to return away from the group stage with a degree, we will likely be pleased.”
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