Coach Sanchez applauds Qatar’s gutsy show
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: Qatar’s 1-0 win over Korea was a ‘gutsy affair’, team coach Felix Sanchez said on Friday.
“I congratulate the Qatari people and give them this great achievement,” Sanchez said.
“We are thrilled to be part of Qatar’s history-making achievement. To reach the semis makes us so happy,” Sanchez added.
“It was a team effort. All the 23 players contributed to the win. The playing XI and the ones on the bench have all been working very hard,” Sanchez said.
“It was a difficult match as we found tough to keep the ball. We couldn’t create chances at the begining,” Sanchez said.
“In the second half, we created chances and built pressure on the Koreans. When we got a chance to score, we found the net under pressure.
“This is a distinguished group of players who know the meaning of winning and that team spirit gives great impact in a match of this kind,” he said.
“The win explains their celebration. We celebrate today and prepare for the semis from tomorrow. The players have shown a great deal of commitment.
“The most important thing is to understand and understand the way we play. This is not the first time we changed the way we play.
“This is due to the way the opponents played. For Salem Ali, he is good at playing in the middle and in the heart of the defense,” he said.
“We will not face Iran in the semifinals. It may be in the final but it is still a long way to go.
“Posting our fifth win in a row has boosted our confidence. It was a collective team effort,” he said.
Sanchez added: “I feel the happiest coach today. What we have achieved is wonderful. To play and win against a top Asian side is good news. We hope we can continue in the same way.”
On the performance of Abdulkarim Al Ali and Salem Al Hajri, he said: “He has already played a great match and this type of tournament means players should be ready to deliver. Indeed, the players showed they were ready and gave their best.”