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Qatar hold Republic of Ireland to end European stint unbeaten


Debrecen: Qatar shared a 1-1 draw with the Republic of Ireland in an international friendly match at Nagyerdei Stadion in Debrecen, Hungary on Tuesday as Felix Sanchez's side brought their European tour to a highly satisfying end.

Playing their third match as an invited team in Group A of the European Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, the reigning AFC Asian Cup champions ended their tour unbeaten after having defeated Luxembourg and Azerbaijan last week.

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Sanchez's side found themselves trailing four minutes into the match when Daryl Horgan exchanged passes with Robbie Brady before crossing to James McClean, whose shot deflected off Pedro Miguel before settling in the net.

Ireland should have doubled their lead in the 26th minute after a Qatari defensive error but Cyrus Christie failed to get the better of goalkeeper Saad Al Sheeb.

Qatar enjoyed a perfect start to the second half as they drew level two minutes in following Almoez Ali’s surging run which ended with a pass to Mohammed Muntari, who fired home from the edge of the area past Ireland custodian Gavin Bazunu.

Qatar came close to taking the lead at the hour mark when captain Hassan Al Haydos made a good run before curling a powerful shot which was blocked by Bazunu.

Ireland nearly scored the winner in the third minute of stoppage time when Cyrus Christie sent in a cross into the area which was headed by substitute Josh Cullen but Al Sheeb reacted quickly to ensure the spoils were shared.

Photo: AFP

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