Qatar Football AssociationNational Teams | U-23
02.06.2022 7:35 in :

Tashkent, Uzbekistan: Qatar U-23 head coach Nicolas Cordova expressed his happiness after his side’s 1-1 draw against Iran in their opening Group A game of the AFC U23 Asian Cup™ Uzbekistan 2022 at the Bunyodkor Stadium on Wednesday.

Qatar looked to have sealed the points through Ahmed Al Ganehi’s 87th minute effort, only for Erfan Shahriari to salvage a point for Iran with his strike in stoppage time.

Qatar head coach Nicolas Cordova sent on Al Ganehi and Andri Syahputra in the 72nd minute, which proved successful in not only pushing the Iranians back but also paving the way for the opening goal with Al Ganehi collecting Tarek’s pass in the box and slotting past Jafari in the 87th minute.

However, Qatar’s celebration only lasted three minutes as an unmanned Shahriari latched onto a stray ball in the box, before slamming home from close range.

“Like most opening matches in tournaments, it was a very difficult match against a strong team, but I am delighted with the commitment shown by the players,” said Cordova, during the press conference after the match.

“When you score just six minutes before the final whistle, you should seal the game, however, Iran manged to muster a late equalizer, of course, you come out of the game with a slight sense of disappointment for losing two points, but I am satisfied with the way my team played and I believe we made a good account of ourselves on the pitch” Cordova added.

The Chilean praised his players, pointing out that they showed great commitment and highlighted their “fighting spirit”, which allowed them to opening the score late in the game.

Cordova concluded by saying: “even though we haven’t won the game today. We have to prepare for the next game (against hosts Uzbekistan), as well as, of course, the final group stage match aginst Turkmenistan.”

Qatar will next take on hosts Uzbekistan, who narrowly beat Turkmenistan 1-0 at the Pakhtakor Central Stadium later in the evening yesterday.