Know Your Rivals: Qatar's Three Key Players

With the Malayan Tigers set to take on Qatar on Tuesday night, Goal profiles the pivotal members of their squad.

Ahead of the fifthround of the 2015 Asian Cup Qualifiers between Malaysia and Qatar, Goal takes a look at the individuals whom the future World Cup hosts will be depending on to get maximum points.

These three individuals forms the spine of the Qatari side and how Malaysia fare against them could very well decide how the tie will end up.

IBRAHIM AL-GHANIM | AL-GHARAFFA, 30, CENTRE-BACK

STATISTICS
CAPS: 44
GOALS: 1
PROFILE

The centre-back and captain of the Qatar team is the experienced leader of the squad. At 1.78m tall, Al-Ghanim possesses the physical build to give his team a sense of security, especially when defending set-pieces. He has played every single minute of Qatar’s Asian Cup qualifying campaign, thus far.



KHALFAN IBRAHIM | AL SADD, 25, MIDFIELDER

STATISTICS
CAPS: 47
GOALS: 21
PROFILE

The hub of the team, Khalfan is the pivotal creative playmaker in this Qatari side. At the tender age of 18, Khalfan became the first Qatari player to win the Asian Player of the Year award in 2006. It was not the only high point in Khalfan’s illustrious career as he also won the Asian Champions League with Al Sadd, back in 2011. He is also one of the goal-scorers in the reverse fixture in Doha, where Malaysia lost 2-0.



SEBASTIAN SORIA | LEKHWIYA SC, 30, STRIKER

STATISTICS
CAPS: 57
GOALS: 23
PROFILE

The Uruguayan born striker has pledged his allegiance to the Qatari flag back in 2006, when he first appeared for the Qatar Under-23 team in the Asian Games. More than 50 caps later for the full national side, Soria has amassed a very good goal-scoring rate of almost one in every two matches. He holds the record for the fastest goal scored in the Asian Champions League (ACL) with a time of nine seconds. He also helped Lekhwiya SC to the quarterfinals of the ACL, only to be knocked out by eventual champions, Guangzhou Evergrande of China.

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