Beating a losing streak that lasted more than 30 years, Qatar’s national under-19 football team claimed its first AFC U-19 Championship title this week after a 1-0 victory over DPR Korea in Thursday’s final in Yangon, Myanmar.
The team received a hero’s welcome last night when they returned to Qatar.
According to Doha Stadium Plus, this is the first time in 34 years that the team even qualified to play in the finals.
The publication continues:
“The latest achievement has much relevance as the current group of players will form the nucleus of the Qatar team at the ’22 World Cup. It will also boost Qatar’s confidence of staging a successful World Cup.
For any edition, a good performance by the host nation is crucial and the boys’ good show should delight the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, for Qatar’s low ranking has been a tool for critics.”
For those who haven’t been keeping up with the matches, @vatyma explained all in a recent post titled “How the Qatar youth team captured our hearts (and won the tournament).”
We republish it here, with her permission:
Qatar’s Under 19 team hadn’t qualified for the Under 20 FIFA Youth World Cup since 1981 in Australia. In Myanmar the team had the chance to reach next year’s finals in New Zealand if they finished in the top 4.
From the moment they walked on to the stage
To their undefeated run to the final
To Afif’s little dance number
..and then there’s Moez
Who can do things like this
And simply shrug it off
This is what the crowd looked like when they faced Myanmar
And yet they kept on going, from victory to victory
To taking a moment from all the madness to pray
No one expected them to win
But they stopped history from repeating itself by qualifying for the youth World Cup when they beat China in a 4–2 quarterfinal victory
The underdogs from Qatar
A team that played its heart out
And won our hearts in the process
#Annabi all the way
Congrats, guys! Thoughts?