Sudan defeat Libya to qualify for 2021 Fifa Arab Cup

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Sudan have qualified for the 2021 Fifa Arab Cup after defeating Libya 1-0 in Doha on Saturday evening.

Mohammed Abdelrahman’s first half goal earned the Falcons of Jediane victory at the Khalifa International Stadium.

After just 15 minutes of the encounter, Hubert Velud’s men were awarded a penalty following Ali Salama’s clumsy tackle on Seif El-Din Malik in the box.

The 27-year-old Al Hilal striker took the resultant kick and sent goalkeeper Muhammad Nashnoush the wrong direction with a cool finish.

Despite Javier Clemente’s side coming out stronger in the second half, they were unable to get the much-needed equaliser as Sudan held on to sail through.

They will now join hosts Qatar, Iraq, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Syria, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Algeria in the tournament’s final phase which commences on November 30 - exactly a year before the 2022 World Cup finals is set to take place. 

The Fifa Arab Cup is set to act as a preparatory competition to test the operational readiness of Qatar ahead of the 2022 World Cup which will be held in the Middle East nation.

The top nine ranked sides according to the April edition of the Fifa rankings - Qatar, Iraq, Tunisia, UAE, Syria, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Algeria and Egypt – have already qualified for the group stage automatically.

Whereas the 14-lowest ranked sides will play single-leg knockout qualifiers, with seven teams advancing to the preliminary round.

According to H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary General, Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), the championship will not just be an assessment of Qatar's preparations, but also will excite the football fans in the region. 

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"This tournament will see elite teams from across the Arab world compete in a Fifa-sanctioned tournament for the first time," he told the media.

“A tournament of this magnitude – played exactly a year before the World Cup – is sure to excite our football crazy region as we continue preparations for 2022.

“We look forward to hosting the Fifa Arab Cup and using the tournament to confirm our plans for the World Cup, which is just around the corner.”