Young Qatar forward Almoez Ali has praised the India U23 team he came up against in the AFC U23 Championship qualifiers in Qatar last year.
Stephen Constantine's men lost 1-0 to Qatar but Ali, who scored the matchwinner, felt that the Indian team were extremely competitive and gave the Qatari outfit a real fight.
"I remember when we played against India. They were very good and they have grown a lot in the recent years," said Ali about the India team which featured the likes of Lalruatthara, Nandha Kumar, Germanpreet Singh and Lallianzuala Chhangte.
"They have done a good job and I hope they keep working like this because when you work hard, you can reach a very high level," expressed the 21-year-old striker.
India finished third in their qualification group clocking losses against Syria and Qatar before ending on a high with a 3-1 win over Turkmenistan.
Ali, who plays for Al Duhail in the Qatar Stars League, felt that the Indian team was well conditioned and physically in good shape. "I liked the way they play against us. They were strong physically and they ran up and down throughout. They move the ball very well and I told them to keep going like this and improve."
Ali was the star for Qatar in the 2018 AFC U23 Championship in China where they finished third and the young forward won the topscorer gong. The highlight of the campaign was the 2-1 win over the home team China in the group stage where Ali bagged a brace.
"We took every game hard in that tournament. We approached the game against Chine very seriously. They had a lot of crowd support with the entire country uniting behind them. But we did very well against China and won," expressed Ali.