AFC U23 Championship
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Qatar ready for China showdown

Sunday, January 14, 2018
Almoez Ali Qatar U23 celebrates v Uzbekistan

Changzhou: Livewire Qatar striker Almoez Ali has declared that his side are primed and ready to go ahead of Monday’s crucial AFC U23 Championship Group A encounter with China at the Changzhou Olympic Sports Center.

Needing only a point to guarantee their progress to the quarter-finals, the Qataris will go into the game as group leaders and favourites to reach the knockout phase thanks to successive victories over Uzbekistan and Oman.

By way of contrast, host nation China, following Friday’s defeat to Uzbekistan, realistically need all three points to keep alive their hopes of reaching the last eight.

With plenty still to play for, Ali believes Qatar have what it takes to get the job done and go through, in spite of the passionate home support that is sure to await them.

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“We are doing very well in this tournament so far and we already have six points,” said the Al Duhail forward who has a goal and an assist to his name thus far.

“We have a very important game against China coming up and we are preparing ourselves well. The team is ready for the match.

“At the AFC U-19 Championship in Myanmar in 2014, we played against Myanmar and there were nearly 30,000 spectators there.

“I think the team will face the same sort of challenge against China as the stadium will be full. Nevertheless, we are ready.”

In the day’s other game, which will be played at the Jiangyin Sports Center, Uzbekistan are set to face Oman knowing that a win or a draw would send them through to quarter-finals should China fail to beat Qatar.

Photo: AFC