Doha, 20 June 2021 - Mohamed Abdelrahman’s penalty secured Sudan a spot in the FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021 after a nerve-wracking 1-0 win over Libya in the play-off qualifying match on Saturday. With the 30 percent capacity crowd at the Khalifa International stadium creating a raucous atmosphere, both teams went on attack right from the start.
While Libya wasted many opportunities, Sudan walked away with the victory after Abdelrahman converted a penalty in the 15th minute.
Libya were looking to make the group stage of the Arab Cup after missing out on qualification for next January’s CAF Africa Cup of Nations. On the eve of the match, Libyan coach Javier Clemente had promised his team would take the field with a positive approach and that’s exactly what they did. Libya should have gone ahead in the opening five minutes, but wasted two chances.
First, Faisal Albadri’s shot was saved by Sudan goalkeeper Ali Aboeshren, before seconds later Motasem Sabbou failed to connect the ball after a good cross from Nouradin Elgelaib. Soon enough, those missed opportunities came to hurt Libya.
Sudan were awarded a penalty following a late challenge by Ali Salama on Seif El-Din Malik. Abdelrahman assumed responsibility and sent the goalkeeper Mohamed Nashnush the wrong way with a calmy dispatched spot-kick.
While Libya pressed hard for an equaliser, it was Sudan who created dangerous openings with Eltahir Athir’s goal-bound shot saved valiantly by Ahmed Eltrbi.
Sudan joined Algeria, Egypt in Group D, with the winner of Lebanon versus Djibouti also joining them.
Over the next six days,
six other participants will be determined.
As per the FIFA Rankings, hosts Qatar, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, United Arab Emirates and Syria have already qualified for the tournament, which will be held from November 30 to December 18.