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Qatar make a smashing start in handball, swamp Malaysia

Qatar make a smashing start  in handball, swamp Malaysia


Tribune News Network
Jakarta
The Qatar handball team made a resounding start to their 2018 Asian Games campaign as the reigning champions thrashed new-entrants Malaysia 64-11 in their opening preliminary Group A match at GOR Popki Cibubur in East Java, Indonesia, on Monday.
Off with a sedate start to the match, Qatar zoomed to a 16-5 lead and later 33-7 at the end of the first half. The Al Annabi added another 31 goals in the second half against a hapless Malaysia.
Left winger Anis Zouaoui scored the most (18) goals for Qatar, followed by captain and winger Abdul Razzaq Murad (10). For Malaysia, only Mustafa Kamal Solihin and Ismail Dzulfiqar could score more than one goal (three each).
Murad was happy with his team's show and expressed satisfaction."Thank God for the great win and the performance. We all were on the required level and played at full strength till the end which reflects that we are fully prepared for the course.
"We have successfully completed the first game and now we are looking at the next game against Iran which will certainly be more difficult, but we are determined to do our best," he said.
Qatar's winger Ahmed Madadi said,"The first match is always important to get into the groove. The win over Malaysia is super and we have a strong game ahead. We will try to be at our best and achieve the desired result.
"Our mission (of retaining the gold medal won in 2014) will not be easy. There are strong teams like Korea, Japan and Bahrain, so we cannot say that our team is the strongest contender to win the gold, but we will do what is required of us to retain our title," he added.
Qatar's manager Yousef al Hail said while the win is important it shouldn't be forgotten that this was Malaysia's first match at the Asian Games.
"The first game is always important, but Malaysia is not a benchmark because they are participating for the first time in an official Asian tournament and therefore our team has not been tested seriously. But we are confident that it will show in the next game against Iran, which must be win in order to lead the group and assure passage into the second round," he said.

Qatar football team to meet Thailand
The Qatar Olympic football team will take on Thailand in their preliminary men's Group B match at the Pakansari Stadium in Bogoru, West Jakarta, at 3 pm (Qatar time) on Tuesday.
Qatar will aim to make a good start and log a win before facing Uzbekistan next.
Meanwhile, Group A will see Indonesia go up against Hong Kong, Laos and Chinese Taipei while Group C sees Iraq, China, Syria and Timor-Leste battle it out. Group D consists of Asian powerhouse Japan, Vietnam, Pakistan and Nepal. In Group F, 2014 silver medalists North Korea have been drawn with Saudi Arabia, Iran and Myanmar.
Qatar's team is expected to do well with promising players in Khalid Muniroutarq Salman, Saud Farhan, Tamim al Muhaizah, Elias Ahmed and brilliant goalkeeper Mohammed al Bakri.
Despite the absence of top scorer Almoez Ali, the talented Akram Afif, defender Bassam al Rawi and Abdullah Abdul Salam, who have stayed back with Al Sadd and Al Duhail for their preparations for the AFC Champions League quarter-finals.
Spaniard coach Unai Malgosa was keen to finalise the squad for the match against Thailand and in identifying the opponent's weaknesses by watching several videos of them.
Defender Ahmed Adel said the team's morale was high."Our chances are high and everyone is trying to represent the team perfectly at the tournament.
"We were keen in the preparations to address all the negatives and prepare differently since this championship is different from other tournaments," he explained.
Meanwhile, striker Ahmed al Saadi said,"The team has many good elements and is capable of winning the opening match, which is the key to a positive start ahead of Uzbekistan's clash on Thursday," he said.
He stressed on the need to be cautious in the three key matches where there is no easy game with all teams commanding respect.
Midfielder Omar al Emadi said that the team will play on a step-by-step principle and hope to stay with the great aspirations of moving forward. He said there was no pressure on the players, which will help contribute to the emergence of the team as expected.

Qatar play Hong Kong in basketball
Qatar's 5x5 men's basketball challenge will begin with a clash against Hong Kong at 12 pm (Qatar time) at the Gilora Bong Karno Hall.
The team is aiming for a positive start given their form and the recent surge at the World Cup qualifiers.
Coached by Tim Lewis, the team includes captain Mohammed al Yousef, Khalid Suliman, Tanguy Ngombo, Khaled Rashdi, Fares Avdic, Abdulrahman Yahia, Nasser al Rayes, Mohammed Abdul Aziz, Abdul Rahim Issa, Emir Mujkic, Moustafa Lashin and Mohamed Amin Mizu.

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