Belmadi blames hectic schedule for Qatar exit
Sydney: Qatar have paid the price for a packed schedule, believes coach Djamel Belmadi, as the Gulf Cup champions crashed out of the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 without a point following their 2-1 loss to Bahrain at Stadium Australia on Monday.
The Qataris dominated the game but were unable to pick up their first win of the tournament having earlier lost to the United Arab Emirates and Iran in Group C.
“In one year, we had three competitions, which is a lot for a national team,” he said. “We won two, so it’s something that’s not easy. One West Asian Cup at home, one Gulf Cup away from home in Saudi Arabia and we know how difficult it is to win there.
“Maybe, this third competition is too much for us, especially when you have a short time between the competition, only one month between. It’s not an excuse, but a fact.
“In three competitions, we won two of them. Maybe I will analyse about this. It’s about our level, maybe too many competitions for one year.”
Young striker Mohammed Muntari missed a series of opportunities, hitting the woodwork twice for a Qatar team that was on top for most of the game and Belmadi was left ruing his team’s profligacy in front of goal.
“When you miss goals it’s about many things; it’s about luck, it’s about concentration,” he said. “Unfortunately, we created chances but we didn’t score and this is what happens.
“In my experience, especially as a player, I’m always worried about this kind of game and when you don’t score you lose the game. This is what happened to us today.”
The defeat was Qatar’s third in a row at the tournament, the country’s most disappointing performance since they last missed out on the AFC Asian Cup finals in 1996.
“We worked hard over the last four days and we were really concentrated and had the desire to win this game,” said Belmadi. “We need confidence, we wanted to win a game at this tournament at least.
“We came here with a lot of expectation and we didn’t win a game. We are all, of course, really disappointed. For the positive things, I will see that later on.”