Coach Al Shafei lauds players after opening win
Muscat, Oman: Qatar coach Ibrahim Al Shafei on Saturday expressed satisfaction after Qatar beat Iraq 2-1 in the opening round of the AFC U17 Asian Cup 2023™ Qualifiers.
Despite trailing only two minutes into the game, the young Qataris managed to go into halftime with a 2-1 lead, which they maintained until the final whistle. “First and foremost, I am pleased with the players’ strong reaction after conceding so early in the game; I am proud of my players and the outstanding account they have given of themselves, providing us with many reasons to be optimistic going forward,” Al Shafei said at the post-match press conference.
“We played well as we controlled the match and took possession of the ball more. We created a lot of chances, scoring two goals. It was such a commendable performance by a young group of players against a very good Iraq team” He said.
When asked about the compressed nature of the group’s schedule, Al Shafei confirmed that his side is prepared physically and mentally to withstand this going forward in the group.
“We have successfully completed the first phase, however, we still have three to go. This will be a highly contested qualifying group since all five teams belong to the same region and are somewhat similar to one another”.
Qatar will aim for their second victory when they play Bahrain who beat Lebanon yesterday 1-0 in the other matchday 1 fixture.