FIFA Arab Cup

Lebanon down Djibouti to win FIFA Arab Cup ticket

Doha: Hilal El Helwe scored a stunner in the second half to steer Lebanon to the 2021 FIFA Arab Cup Finals after edging Djibouti 1-0 in a playoff match at Khalifa International Stadium on Wednesday.

Lebanon advanced to Group D of the Finals along with Algeria, Egypt and Sudan.

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Lebanon had the opening chance of the match through Kassem El Zein’s header following a corner but Djibouti goalkeeper Innocent Mbonihankuye was alert to the challenge.

Djibouti nearly took the lead against the run of play in the 22nd minute following a quick counter attack as Doualeh Mahamoud Elabeh received a cross from the right but his shot was deflected before going over the crossbar.

Lebanon should have scored after the restart when skipper Hassan Maatouk received a neat pass from Hilal El Helwe just inside the area but his shot went just wide.

However, El Helwe gave Lebanon the lead seconds later when he received the ball from Mohamad Haidar before firing a first-time volley past the Djibouti goalkeeper.

Photo: AFP

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