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Qatar’s Almoez Ali targets Asian Cup scalp

07:20 SAST 2018/12/18
Almoez Ali
The 22-year-old striker is focussed on the upcoming Asian Cup with an aim to go as far as possible…

Qatar’s Almoez Ali has more or less established himself in the national team and could be one of the star players in four years when they play their opening World Cup game at the Lusail Stadium.

Ali, who won the top scorer gong at the AFC Under-23 Championships earlier this year, has been amongst goals for the senior team as well. He recently scored in the 1-0 win over China, followed by another against Palestine and a brace at the Khalifa Stadium against Ecuador.

The 22-year-old isn’t bogged down by any pressure whatsoever as he took pride in having the chance to represent his country at international competitions. Qatar are in cluster E of the Asian Cup where they have Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and DPR Korea for company.

“There will be pressure on me to help my team. I have to score for my country. I will have the responsibility to present my country in the World Cup.

“I think it is too early for the World Cup but for now, we have to go very far in the Asian Cup,” Ali told Goal.

One of the concerns for the host nation at the World Cup is that they end up playing a lot of friendly matches as opposed to competitive ones. However, Ali stated that the only way to beat any lackadaisical attitude creeping in is to remain focussed.

“Yeah, the friendlies are different than the real competition. And we have to be focused on different games and you will not find us relaxed as players. As you are aware if we relax we wiil concede goals and if we concede in real competitions we are out. We will stay in shape and remain focused for every game – be it a friendly or a competitive match,” said the Al-Duhail forward.