8 Jan 2011

Qatar suffers reality check in Asian Cup

8:53 am on 8 January 2011

Hosts Qatar, who have been celebrating landing the 2022 FIFA World Cup finals for the last five weeks, have suffered a reality check with a 2-0 loss to Uzbekistan in their opening Asian Cup match.

The Qataris lacked ideas, pace and direction as the Central Asian side, ranked 109th in the world, five places above them, largely controlled the match.

It was a huge anti-climax for the hosts and their French coach Bruno Metsu, whose promise of an attacking vibrant start from his men never materialised.

The home side clearly did not impress their own fans, who left the Khalifa Stadium in droves long before the final whistle as Qatar's 23-year wait for a win in the finals since they last hosted them in 1988 continued.