Qatar u 23s ready for opening challenge

DOHA: Qatar players have trained well over the course of last six
weeks, according to national team coach Felix Sanchez who on Tuesday
said his team was ready to do battle at this week’s AFC U-23 Asian Cup
qualifiers.

The July 19-23 event will be held at Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium.

Turkmenistan, India and Syria are the three sides to play matches
against each other and hosts Qatar.

“It’s a good number (8 friendlies in last 6 weeks). We had a big
number of players – we started the camp with 28 players. Finally you
have to have 23 and you need to give every player minutes on the
pitch,” Sanchez said.

“These boys have been playing together for a few years now. I have
been with them for a long time. I have a good group with a good
atmosphere which is important. They want to do well so that we have
the possibility of playing in China,” Sanchez said on Tuesday.

China will host the U-23 finals next January.

Qatar’s coach said his team has set about a plan to focus on one match
at a time.

Hosts Qatar open their campaign with a game against Turkmenistan on
Wednesday followed by a clash against India on July 21 before closing
the tournament with a match against Syria on July 23.

“Today, our toughest opponents is Turkmenistan because we play them
first. Because they are our next game. It will be wrong to think about
just one team. That would mean you are not focused on your game,”
Sanchez said.

“As I said before, one bad result or one bad game can put a lot of
pressure. Then you feel a lot of pressure when you play your next
opponents. Now we are only focusing on Turkmenistan. After that it
will be India – they are a good team – and after that we will think of
Syria,” he added.

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