Thu, 28 Oct, 2021
Yangon: Newly-crowned AFC U-19 Champions Qatar scooped up the individual awards to add to their maiden title as their captain Ahmad Moein was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player and striker Ahmed Al Sadi claimed the Top Scorer accolade.
Moein wore the armband again for the West Asians as they claimed their first AFC U-19 Championship after edging DPR Korea in a narrow 1-0 victory in Thursday’s final at Thuwunna Youth Training Centre Stadium.
The midfielder, who was the cornerstone of his team throughout the tournament, showed an astonishing level of maturity in an all-action display thanks to his cultured passing, fierce tackling and some accurate shooting, most especially against China in the quarter-finals where Moein scored from long-range in a 4-2 victory.
“I am very happy and proud of all my team-mates and for Qatar,” said the 18-year-old.
“It means a lot for Qatar to win this tournament. We worked hard for it as it was not easy with many hard matches, we will look forward to the World Cup and I’m very happy that Qatar won this tournament for the first time.
“I am very happy to be Most Valuable Player but all my team-mates helped me to achieve this award. Winning an award like this in such a difficult competition is not easy by any means, but thanks to the help of my team-mates I have achieved it.”
Moein’s coach Felix Sanchez Bas was full of praise for his side’s skipper, emphasising not only the player’s individual ability but also his unselfish work rate and team-first mentality.
“Moein played a fantastic tournament and it’s a well-deserved award, because he was really great,” said Qatar coach Sanchez Bas.
“He scored, defended, passed the ball to his team-mates. He really wants to make it as a professional footballer and if he keeps this level, there’s absolutely no reason why he can’t.
“But we always emphasise that the team comes before the individual, and Moein is a great example of this and he always plays for his team-mates and looking to create opportunities for them.
“Al Sadi, who was top-scorer, also had a great tournament too, but he needs 10 other players to give him the ball and create the opportunities for him so he can score.”
Al Sadi, showed formidable precision in the group stages of the tournament in particular where his goals almost single-handedly hauled Qatar into the knockout stages. The Belgium-based forward was on the score-sheet in all three games as the West Asians won Group D, scoring against DPR Korea and Iraq before notching a brace against Oman.
In the quarter-final against China, Al Sadi scored within the first five minutes in his side’s 4-2 victory and although he did not net again in the semi-finals or finals, his five goal tally was enough to claim him the top scorers award ahead of fellow five-goal scorers DPR Korea’s Jo Kwang-myong and Uzbekistan striker Zabikhillo Urinboev, by virtue of a superior assist count.
Al Sadi’s team-mate Akram Afif, whose fourth goal proved the difference in the final against DPR Korea, was joint with Japan ace Takumi Minamino in rounding out the top five scorers.