LUGANO, Switzerland (Reuters) - Qatar, hosts of the next World Cup, pulled off one of the most impressive results in their history when they won 1-0 away to Switzerland in a friendly on Wednesday.
Qatar, ranked 96th in the world, snatched the win after Akram Afif broke away and rounded Yvon Mvogo to score the only goal in the 86th minute of a lacklustre match played in front of a paltry 4,000 crowd.
The Swiss twice hit the crossbar, firstly with a Michael Lang header in the first half and then a Christian Fassnacht effort after the break, but the visitors also had several chances.
Qatar, who have never played at the World Cup, have won four of their last five matches including a 4-3 win over Ecuador last month.
“Our first half was very poor, the second was a bit better but I can’t say our opponents did not deserve the win,” said Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic.
The Swiss host Belgium in a Nations League match on Sunday.
Writing by Brian Homewood, editing by Pritha Sarkar