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Nov 26 - Dec 8, 2019
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Players maintained intensity despite big lead: Sanchez

If we played 50 times against Qatar, we will draw only once, says Afghanistan coach.
Qatar Coach Felix Sanchez
Qatar coach Felix Sanchez. IQ Photo: Vinod Divakaran

The final 6-0 scoreline against Afghanistan certainly pleased Qatar coach Felix Sanchez but it was the first 15 minutes of play, during which Qatar went 3-0 up, that delighted him.

“We scored off the first chances we got. Doing that put us in control for the rest of the match,” he said.

The coach credited his team for being consistent despite the humid conditions on the pitch.

“The players maintained the intensity despite going ahead in the first 15 minutes. The weather was very demanding on the players, but they kept up the momentum despite that,” said Sanchez.

Qatar Players Celebrate A Goal Against Afghanistan On Thursday
Qatar players celebrate a goal against Afghanistan on Thursday. IQ Photo: Vinod Divakaran

The coach also applauded Almoez Ali for his performance. “He played a great game and he has great skills,” said Sanchez.

Defender Karim Boudaif suffered a groin injury and had to be substituted in the 29thminute. Sanchez praised his play. “He has a very good pass and his presence gave us more alternatives. Sadly he suffered an injury early in the game. But that gave us an opportunity to try many options,” said the Spaniard.

About the next match against India, Sanchez said Qatar could not afford to take their opponents lightly. “India are a very compact unit. We have to put up a great performance if we have to win.”

Afghanistan coach Anoush Dastgar was gracious in defeat. Even as he was smarting from the huge loss, he applauded the manner in which Qatar played. “They play some fine football. If we played 50 times against Qatar, we will probably draw just once,” he said.

“I think that if we had surprised them in the first 15 minutes, the score would not have been 6-0. But Qatar played a great game in the first 15 minutes and that’s what made the difference today,” said Dastgar.

For Dastgar, the takeaways today were about commitment. “When there is a scoreline such as this most coaches sit on the bench and have nothing to say. I decided to stand there and keep talking to my players,” he said.

Qatar’s next match against India is here on September 10. On the same day, Afghanistan play Bangladesh.

Afghanistan's Captain Farshad Noor And Qatar's Ahmed Alaeeldin Fight For Possession
Afghanistan’s captain Farshad Noor and Qatar’s Ahmed Alaeeldin fight for possession. IQ Photo: Vinod Divakaran