Morocco, Egypt, and Algeria grabbed their first FIFA Arab Cup wins on Wednesday.
The second day of the 19-day FIFA Arab Cup 2021 has concluded with spectacular matches between Morocco and Palestine, Egypt and Lebanon, and Algeria and Sudan in Qatar on Wednesday.
Thousands of fans have made their way to a number of World Cup stadiums in the last two days to cheer for their home country, with Qatar flaunting its readiness to host the FIFA 2022 World Cup in less than a year.
Here’s a recap of Wednesday’s matches:
Morocco vs Palestine
Egypt vs Lebanon
Group D saw a hard-fought battle between Egypt and Lebanon that ended with a 1-0 victory for the Pharaohs on Wednesday at Al Thumama Stadium.
The powerful rivals gave their vociferous fans a night to remember as both teams fought to earn their spot in the Group D lead and have a better chance to be crowned winners this year.
However, the game was put to rest after Egypt’s Mohammed Afsha scored a penalty against Lebanon’s goalkeeper Mostafa Matar, taking the lead and scoring the only goal of the match.
Algeria vs Sudan
Meanwhile, Algeria crushed Sudan with a 4-0 win in the team’s opening FIFA Arab Cup match on Wednesday at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium.
Algeria’s star striker, who was declared man of the match, scored the lead at the 11th minute then added yet another stunning goal at minute 37.
Djamel Benlamri then followed shortly with the third before El Arbi Hilal Soudani made it 4-0 in the 46th minute.
All you need to know about the first FIFA Arab Cup
The much-awaited 19-day tournament will witness 16 teams fighting to take home the gleaming FIFA Arab Cup trophy for the first time – marking a historic moment for all involved in the event.
There are a total of four groups competing in the first round, each consisting of four teams.
Group A: Qatar, Iraq, Oman, Bahrain
Group B: Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Syria, Mauritania
Group C: Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestine
Group D: Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Sudan
Each team will play three group matches with the top two sides from each group. The winner will qualify for the quarter-finals, which will take place on 10-11 December.
تحية ود واحترام بين الجماهير المغربية والفلسطينية 🇲🇦❤️🇵🇸
لقطات من مدرجات استاد المدينة التعليمية الذي احتضن مباراة السعودية والأردن 🇸🇦❤️🇯🇴
— beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTS) December 2, 2021
The four winners will then meet in the semi-finals, and those with the highest number of points will battle it out in the final match on 18 December.
Thousands of fans will be making their way to the six World Cup stadiums, all of which are ready to host 16 teams participating in the 19-day tournament in Doha.
The matches will take place in six World Cup stadiums across the country, including Al Bayt, Al Thumama, Ahmad Bin Ali, Education City stadium, 974, and Al Janoub.
The FIFA Arab Cup 2021, the first edition of its kind, is set to offer a glimpse of what to expect a year later at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Fans from around the world now have the opportunity to experience Qatar’s ultra-modern sports facilities ahead of the World Cup next year, from state-of-the-art stadiums to free and eco-friendly transportation and fan activities.
The tournament is also seen as a golden opportunity to test preparations for the FIFA World Cup 2022, which will take place in a similar time slot next year.
In total, 32 matches will take place during the tournament.
On Tuesday, the first match for the much-awaited Arab tournament kicked off at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium and ended with a 5-0 win for Tunisia against Mauritania after a heated match between both teams.
Just hours later, Iraq took on Oman in a match that saw a dramatic last minute 1-1 draw. Shortly after, the United Arab Emirates dominated a game against Syria that ended with a 2-1 score. Qatar also won against Bahrain after the opening ceremony in Al-Bayt Stadium.
Tickets for all matches are available here.