The winner was scored by Afif, the first Qatari to play in Spain’s La Liga and a product of Aspire Academy. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth
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For those who thought Qatar would at the very best make up the numbers at its own World Cup in 2022, this week's eye-catching victory over Switzerland will have come as a big surprise.It was the first time Qatar had beaten a European team in their own country.The victory, almost four years to the day before the 2022 World Cup begins, was perhaps the first sign that Qatar is catching up with more established football powers.It confirmed Qatar would become the first country to host a World Cup without ever before playing in a finals since Italy way back in 1934 .The average age of Qatar's starting lineup in Switzerland was 24 years and 195 days, two years younger than the Swiss team, according to pan-Arab statistics platform, Mundial11 .It's been a good few weeks for Aspire, as Qatar's U-20 team have just qualified for next year's World Cup.
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