Can’t say I didn’t tell you 😛
They’re a very solid side. I’d argue they were even uncharacteristically poor defensively, usually look far more organized in the back.
As I mentioned earlier, the core of this team has played together since childhood and has benefitted from exposure to quality training at Aspire and in Europe, prior to returning to the domestic league.
Their federation showed foresight/patience, uncharacteristic for the region, when they decided to focus on continuity and familiarity both among the players and their management. Their manager has been with the same core group for over a decade, first at Aspire, then the youth NTs, and now with the men’s side.
I’d argue Akram Afif( reigning AFC player of the year)may be the most technically gifted player at this tournament. Definitely good enough to play in Europe, but incentive isn’t there considering how good he has it in Qatar.