Qatar produced a scintillating display to hand Uzbekistan a crushing 3-0 defeat in their World Cup qualifier at the Al Sadd Stadium on Saturday.
Playing in hot and humid conditions, Qatar took their own time to assert their supremacy, but once they found their rhythm, it was Jorge Fossati's side all the way to begin their World Cup quest on a commanding note.
Mejdi Seddiq fired the Qataris ahead in the 37th minute with a cracking free-kick that beat Uzbek goalkeeper Ignatiy Nesterov to trigger wild celebrations in the stands.
Fossati, who is hoping to win all of Qatar's home matches, couldn't have asked for more from his side who produced several pacy runs keeping the Uzbek defence on edge throughout the match.
Uzbekistan, who qualified for the final phase of qualifying with two matches to spare, struggled in the Doha weather, hardly testing the Qatari goalkeeper Mohammed Saqr.
Qatar were even better in the second half with Sebastien Quintana's skills up front putting the Uzbek defence under tremendous pressure.
It was Quintana's brilliance that resulted in Qatar's second goal in the 72nd minute as the Uruguayan-born forward won the ball in his own half and after advancing a few paces found Majed Mohammed in the penalty area who hoodwinked two defenders to slot home.
Quintana himself came close to scoring on a couple of occasions, but was unlucky as his shots went wide after deflections inside the penalty area.
Qatar put the issue beyond doubt when Talal al-Bloushi found himself unmarked and easily beating the Uzbek goalkeeper Nesterov.
“It was important we played a good game and we are happy with the result,” Quintana said after the match.
“We are working hard to qualify for the World Cup and we will never lose our focus.”
Fossati himself was thrilled with what he called a “fantastic” result.
“I've said before we want to win all our matches and today's fantastic victory will give us the confidence for the future,” he said.
“Despite the late start the weather was not too good but all the boys really worked hard and they deserved the result. Now we need to maintain our momentum for the Bahrain match on September 10.”
Uzbekistan coach Rauf Inleev was a dejected man after the match.
“We were completely outplayed,” he said. “We are not used to such weather conditions which took a toll on the team but all credit to Qatar.”
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