Hassan Haydoos scored a stunning winner as Qatar continued their perfect start to their European preparations for the FIFA World Cup with a 2-1 victory over Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan carved the first chance of note with ten minutes on the clock. Mahir Emreli spurned a cutback from Ramil Sheydayev over the bar. The visitors had the better of the early exchanges in terms of possession.
The Asian champions found their feet in the contest moments later as smart individual work from Abdullah Al-Ahrak saw his shot headed away from danger by Bahlul Mustafazade.
Azerbaijan took the lead in slightly fortuitous circumstances from the penalty spot. Mohammed Wadd carelessly bundled down Anatoliy Nuriyev and Ramil Sheydayev stepped up to send Saad Al Sheeb the wrong way.
Qatar looked frustrated for parts of the first half and it showed as Asim Madibo saw yellow with just twenty minutes on the clock. The first half of the contest ended on a feisty note as the tackles flew in and Homam Ahmed and Shahriyar Aliyev picked up further cards.
After a frustrating first 45, Qatar rallied style with two quick-fire goals from Hassan Haydoos. Sərtan Taşkın was adjudged to pull Almoez Ali in the box, and Haydoos stepped up to confidently dispatch the penalty past keeper Emil Balayev.
The Qatar national team captain only needed three minutes to fire Al Annabi into the lead with a goal of sensational quality. Good work off the ball saw Almoez Ali win the ball high in midfield, and wingback Pedro Miguel surged forward creating space, a quick pass to Haydoos saw the Al Sadd man smash an unstoppable shot into the top corner.
Qatar grew in confidence as the second half progressed and held off their opponents to register back to back wins as they prepare for the FIFA World Cup on home soil.
Source: Qatar Olympic Committee