Compared to regional neighbors; Qatar has a decent record to show for in Olympic football, with two prior Summer Olympics qualifications and a gold medal in the 2006 Asian games.
Qatar’s first attempt to compete in the Olympic level proved fruitful, they cruised past Jordan and Syria in the preliminary stages of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, then finished atop of Group B in the final qualifications round after beating Thailand, Malaysia, Japan and Iraq.
Qatar’s Olympic debut under Brazilian legend Evaristo de Macedo came as stunning as it gets, a 2-2 draw with a Platini captained France (who went on to claim the gold medal eventually), sent ripples of shock across the football world, however; suffering two defeats to Chile and Norway deprived the first timers of a last 16 berth.
Eight years later, a new young squad dominated its qualifying campaign on the expense of Japan, China and Saudi Arabia, in the finals; the Qataris were given a tough draw next to host nation Spain, Colombia and Egypt. Qatar kicked off their matches at Barcelona with a crucial 1-0 win over fellow Arab nation Egypt, before registering a 1-1 draw with Colombia to secure a place in the knockout stage, turning the last group match against Spain into a formality.
A loss to Poland in the second stage fell a little bit short of rising expectations, but reaching the second stage led to the country’s best Olympic result.
When hosting the 2006 Asian Games, Qatar found itself with a double objective; to show that it was capable of hosting a major event of that caliber, and demonstrate that its football team was worthy of standing alongside Asia’s elite.
Undefeated throughout the whole tournament; Qatar’s momentum escalated from one match to another, reaching its peak in the 2-0 final against Iraq.