ESSEN, GERMANY, SEP 19: Ireland logo on the shirt during the UEFA Women s European Championship, EM, Europameisterschaft Qualification match between Germany and Republic of Ireland. Daniela Porcelli / SPP Germany v Republic of Ireland PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxBRA

World Cup hosts Qatar’s preparations for the World Cup began disastrously. Qatar suffered an unbelievable setback against Northern Irish football club Linfield in a practise match.

The Qatar football team were simply outclassed by Linfield, as the Northern Irish champions pulled off an incredible 1-0 victory in the Spanish city of Marbella on Tuesday.

Former Rangers forward Chris McKee’s goal in the first half was enough to give the Belfast-based team a big victory. Qatar, on the other hand, played a good team but were unable to produce the crucial equaliser.

Qatar fielded a hugely experienced side against Linfield, including captain Hassan Al-Haydos, Abdelkarim Hassan and Karim Boudiaf who have amassed 384 caps between them.

Head coach Felix Sanchez named seven players who featured in the recent draw with Slovenia in his starting line-up, and they are also expected to be in the first team for their national side in the future 2022 World Cup.

So it has to go down as a stunning result in the Belfast club’s first outing of pre-season!

Linfield has also won the prestigious Irish Premiership in the last four seasons. Linfield’s victory over Qatar was not their first versus a national team.

Linfield had previously defeated Kenya by a score of 1-0 in 2002. They had also played against Argentina, the reigning world champions, in 1990, but Diego Maradona’s team had won 1-0.

Linfield are now in Spain for their pre-season training camp, and this victory over Qatar is vital for the Northern Irish team as they prepare for a Champions League first-round qualifier against The New Saints.

On July 5 and 13, David Healy’s team will face the Welsh football team in two legs.

Qatar, on the other hand, must enhance their performance in front of their home audience during the 2018 World Cup.

The 2022 World Cup is set to begin on November 21, with Felix Sanchez’s men against Ecuador on the first day of the tournament. The hosts will face Senegal in their second match of the tournament.

Qatar is in Group A with Senegal, the Netherlands, and Ecuador. Senegal will play the Netherlands in the tournament’s opening match.