With a win in tomorrow morning’s game against Turkmenistan, the Cedars would ensure only their second ever qualification to the Third Round of the World Cup Qualifiers, the first time being that historic run in the 2014 edition.
Saturday’s 3-2 victory against minnows Sri Lanka was the bare minimum and nothing more as the Cedars clearly lacked motivation and energy. A complacency that we have gotten accustomed to with this group showed its ugly face again and made what should have been an easy goal-filled victory a hard watch for all Lebanese supporters, and an uncharacteristic error by keeper Mahdi Khalil just about summed up Lebanon’s performance which was saved by a Joan Oumari brace, a rare sight indeed.
The game saw Lebanon play without two of its most important figures in captain Hassan Maatouk (injured) and Bassel Jradi (Covid measures) and the Cedars will have do without them once again. Last time out no one stepped up to make up for the lost creativity and attacking potency and all eyes will be on the likes of Mohamad Haidar and Rabih Ataya especially to fill their shoes.
Turkmenistan were a tough nut to crack when we beat them 2-1 back in Beirut but this is a different side to the one that caused problems at the 2019 Asian Cup and they are coming off a devastating 5-0 defeat to South Korea which ended their own hopes of qualification. This puts us in the driving seat to get the three points we need and I expect our boys to get the job done as they have showed in the past that they show up when it counts most.
Am predicting a 4-0 victory with Mohamad Kdouh to score more than once. Hoping to see a more exuberant and more effective performance where Lebanon displays our true quality and which can catapult us right into the Third Round in style! Go Cedars! Yalla Lebnen! 👊🇱🇧