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 towards 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 operating for a spot within the spherical of 16. Nevertheless, regardless of the duty readily available, followers have come out in assist of the house crew.
“We don’t need to deliver them beneath any stress that they need to win, we simply need them to have recreation,” Ali Ghanem, a teenage fan of the house crew, informed Al Jazeera.
Qatar, one of many lowest-ranked groups within the event, is making its World Cup debut by advantage of being the host.
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 stress 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 surface world.
In keeping 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 an alternative of anticipating them to win,” he stated.
Ismaeel Mohammad, a Qatari crew member, referred to as on the followers to get behind the crew.
“Our crew wants its followers now greater than ever,” he stated throughout a information convention on the eve of the match.
Followers duly obliged and turned out to assist their crew in Doha’s Musheireb space on Thursday night. They walked right down to the Al Annabi Village, a fan zone for Qatar’s supporters at Musheireb, with their maroon and white Qatar flags.
Giant video screens on the fan zone confirmed the crew’s achievements on the Asian Cup and the Arab Cup as followers sang alongside to in style songs.
Qatar’s coach Felix Sanchez admitted his crew crumbled beneath stress towards Ecuador.
“We hope that now we’re free from all this stress that we had within the opening match,” he informed reporters on Thursday.
“I hope we will compete and present that we may be extra aggressive than the opposite day, no matter what’s the end result.”
If Qatar fails to win, it can change into solely the second host nation after South Africa (2010) to crash out on the first hurdle.
The crew stated it can 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 completed effectively within the event.
Sonia Nemmas, a Jordanian mom of three football-mad women, stated her household has all the time supported Qatar and has excessive hopes for the crew.
“In the event that they handle to get a minimum of one win and one draw from the remaining two matches, we should still [have] a miracle,” she stated.
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 might be blissful.”