Without the injured Atiba Hutchinson, David (Junior) Hoilet will captain Canada’s Qatar in an international friendly against Qatar in Vienna on Friday.
Hutchinson, 39, has made 97 senior appearances and is Canada’s all-time men’s cap leader, having been sidelined due to a bone bruise he sustained pre-season against Turkey’s Besiktas. He made his 48th appearance for Canada and assumed the captain’s armband.
“He will lead the team,” Hardman said Thursday. “He’s in great shape at a club in Reading (England’s second tier) near the top of the championship.”
Hardmann expects a well-trained opponent at the World Cup venue at the Generali Arena, home of Vienna, Austria.
“Qatar will be the most prepared team for the World Cup,” Hardman said. “The investment in them is very unique. We are able to take all the opportunities we have as a country and focus our players and play like a club team.”
Players are mostly drawn from Qatari teams, with Al Sadd and Al Duhail leading the way.
Hardman noted that Qatar played for Italian clubs Lazio and Fiorentina over the summer and has a game against Croatia’s under-23 side this week.
“They are well organized, very disciplined, a good football team, and you can see that they know each other inside out, so this will be a real challenge for Canada.”
Qatar is ranked 48th in the world, five places below Canada. The hosts of the World Cup will face No. 8 Netherlands, No. 18 Senegal (the current African Cup of Nations champions) and No. 44 Ecuador in Group A of the World Cup.
Canada, who have never faced Qatar before, will face No. 13 Uruguay next Tuesday in Bratislava, Slovakia.
For the Canadians, this is their first gathering since June’s ill-fated training camp in Vancouver, when players refused a friendly against Panama due to contract disputes. They broke the deadlock to face Curacao and Honduras in the CONCACAF Nations League match on Sunday. However, contract negotiations continue.
Canada’s final warm-up at the World Cup will be against Japan, ranked 24th in the world, in Dubai on November 17th. The Canadians Open tournament will see him face second-placed Belgium on November 23 in Group F.
Due to the pandemic and overcrowded schedules, Hardman players are extremely busy these days. The coach will have to balance the desire to prepare the team for Qatar with just a few games left while not overloading players away from the club’s busy schedule.
“Some players are probably overloaded,” he said. “This means we have to play a little less and be smarter with these games. It’s exciting to have them back and we haven’t played in three months, so I just want to play two games. But unfortunately… some of them have a heavy load at the club and need to get some rest.”
But Hardman knows the talent in front of him and what it takes to get to “the next level of standards that must be reached.”
“I’ve spent four years on this journey, and if I don’t know my team now, I’m in a little bit of trouble,” he told The Canadian Press. “I think it’s clear that there’s a core group in our minds, a group of players who are trying to surprise, push, shock us and make us think about something else. .”
Club Brugge winger Tajon Buchanan is back from injury and is likely to be on the bench against Uruguay only “if he meets all his markers”. , who collapsed with a hamstring problem the night before camp, stays with the team but is not expected to take action.
Hardman wanted Henry to attend camp “to bring him closer to this team.”
“He’s had a big presence in the dressing room. He’s a true leader among men.”
Qatar is coached by 46-year-old Spaniard Felix Sanchez, who was a youth coach at Barcelona before moving to Qatar in 2006 to join the Aspire Sports Academy. He turned Qatar youth team coach and took over the senior team in 2017.
Qatar has never topped 42nd place, with a lowest of 113th.
Qatar failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, finishing 2-7-1 last in the third round qualifying group of six teams.
However, Sanchez led Qatar to victory in the 2019 Asian Cup, beating their opponents 19-1 on their seventh straight win. Qatar defeated Iraq, South Korea and the host United Arab Emirates in his round of knockouts before defeating Japan 3-1 in the final.
Almoez Ali led the tournament with a record nine goals.
The team also includes star wing Akram Afif, who was named Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Player of the Year in 2019. Veteran Hassan Al-Hyddos is the captain of the team.
Guest team Qatar failed to advance out of the group stage at the 2019 Copa America, drawing 2-2 with Paraguay before losing 1-0 to Colombia and 2-0 to Argentina.
Qatar finished third in the 2021 FIFA Arab Cup, beating Egypt on penalties after losing 2-1 to eventual champions Algeria in the semi-finals.
Junior Hoilet to captain Canada against Qatar in men’s soccer friendly in Vienna
Source link Junior Hoilet to captain Canada against Qatar in men’s soccer friendly in Vienna