Qatar coach Felix Sanchez believes his side has been given a major boost following Thursday’s comfortable 6-0 victory against Afghanistan in Group E of the Asian Qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar and AFC Asian Cup China 2023.
A hat-trick from this year’s AFC Asian Cup MVP and Golden boot winner Almoez Ali as well as goals from Hassan al-Haydos, Abdulkarim Hassan and Boualem Khoukhi at the Jassim bin Hamad Stadium gave Asia’s reigning champions a perfect start to their campaign.
“We achieved our target today which is to get a victory and the three points in the opening match of the qualifiers,” said Sanchez.
“The victory today was very important especially that it is our first match in the qualifiers and it will give the team a big boost in the next matches.”
“My players deserve to be congratulated following their impressive performance and their big determination to win the match right from the beginning as they showed the true image to be Asian champions,” he added.
Qatar’s next test will be against India on Tuesday, and while the West Asians will be hoping to claim a second victory, Sanchez has declared that their opponents will not be easy to beat.
“It will be a totally different match,” said Sanchez about India. “I think each match is different than the other but our aim is similar which is to win and get the three points.” Meanwhile, Afghanistan head coach Anoush Dastgir was disappointed with the defeat, but praised his players for their performance.
“We tried to have a good performance and return home with a positive result but our opponents were too strong,” said Dastgir.
“Despite the big defeat, I’m proud with what the players showed today as they gave their best,” he added.
“Our opponents were a strong team and they are the Asian champions,” he said. “We can’t compare our team to Qatar and I warned the players that the start of the match would be very critical.
“Hopefully we can learn from the mistakes before our next game against Bangladesh,” he concluded.
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