Lopez hails Qatar after win over Kuwait, delighted with Almoez’s return to form

Lopez hails Qatar after win over Kuwait, delighted with Almoez’s return to form

Alkass Digital

Doha: Head coach Marquez Lopez praised Qatar’s determination after a hard-fought 2-1 away victory over Kuwait in the FIFA World Cup 2026 and AFC Asian Cup Saudi Arabia 2027 joint qualifiers on Tuesday night.

With their fourth consecutive victory in the qualifiers, the two-time Asian champions confirmed their berth for the continental tournament as well as advanced to the third round of the World Cup qualifiers. Qatar also ensured a top finish in Group A with two matches to spare against Afghanistan and India, who they defeated 8-1 and 3-0 respectively in November under then coach Carlos Queiroz.

Qatar's head coach Marquez Lopez

The Lopez’s men though were given a run for their money by hosts Kuwait at Ali Subah Al Salem Stadium as they claimed a win only after late goals by Almoez Ali. The striker scored the opening goal in 77th minute before firing the winner in the 80th minute after Kuwait’s Mohammad Daham scored the leveler in a thrilling match.

“We were aware that it would be a difficult match against Kuwait at their home,” said Lopez.

“They played very well in front of their fans as they needed points in their bid to advance in the qualifiers. I am very happy the way Qatar fought and managed to achieve victory in a tough match,” he added.

“We also played well in the first half and created a number of chances, and finally we managed to score goals in the second half. Kuwait were very impressive and played with great fighting spirit. I wish them luck in their next games.”

The Spaniard also expressed his delight on Almoez’s return to form.

Almoez Ali celebrates.

“I am happy for Almoez Ali as he returned to his usual level and regained his goal-scoring scoring prowess,” Lopez said of Almoez, who scored only two goals in Qatar’s recent Asian Cup triumph.

Meanwhile, Qatar captain Akram Afif, who smashed a brace in 3-0 win over Kuwait in the opening leg last Thursday, termed the away victory important.

“For us, we got the important thing which is the win and the ticket to qualify for the next round of World Cup qualifiers, and we wish good luck to Kuwait for the last two matches,” he said.

Qatar’s match-winner Almoez said: “I want to congratulate the entire team and our fans as we have achieved our goal of qualifying for the Asian Cup as well as advancing to the next stage of World Cup qualifiers. I am happy to score goals and help Qatar win in this important match. We must be fully prepared for the next stage of World Cup qualifiers.” Qatar will take on Afghanistan on June 6 before meeting India five days later to wrap up their Preliminary Joint Qualification – Round 2 campaign.

They will be among the 18 teams in the third round of World Cup qualifiers following the conclusion of second round. These teams will be divided into three groups with top two teams from each group will be earning direct qualification to the World Cup.