Russian team arrives in Doha for friendly against Qatar

Russian team arrives in Doha for friendly against Qatar
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Published November 8th, 2016 - 16:22 GMT via

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Qatar national football team
Qatar national football team

The football team from Russia, which is also to host the FIFA 2018 World Cup, landed in Doha on Monday for Thursday's international friendly with the national team of Qatar hosts for FIFA 2022 World Cup.

As 2018 hosts, the Russian team automatically qualifies for the tournament in two years' time and will not play any competitive match until the Confederations Cup in June 2017. They are currently ranked 53rd in the world, their lowest since the FIFA rankings began in 1992.

Russia's last competitive tournament was the Euro 2016 where they performed disastrously, losing 3-0 to Wales, 2-1 to Slovakia and collecting a point against England in a 1-1 draw. The team's poor showing was, however, overshadowed by hooliganism of Russian fans in the tournament.

Stanislav Cherchesov will be in charge of Russia (only in his fourth match as coach). He led the players to a light workout consisting of veteran goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev, Yuri Zhirkov, Mario Fernades, Kirill Panchenko and Aleksandr Kokorin at the Abdullah Bin Nasser Bin Khalifa Stadium on Monday evening.

The squad will practice at the same venue on Tuesday and Wednesday before the match against Qatar on Thursday at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium.

Russia's future fixtures, after Qatar, are against their European foes Romania, Macedonia and Moldova.
For Qatar, currently 71st in FIFA ranking, the match is a warm up ahead of their crunch World Cup 2018 qualifier against China on November 15.

Qatar are placed second-last in the points tally in Group A with three points among the Asian qualifiers, winning their last match against Syria in Doha. The win came after three defeats two on the road to Iran, South Korea and a home loss to Uzbekistan.

The Al Anabi trained at the Qatar Sports Club on Monday and will do so on Tuesday.

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