Qatar set for Iraq challenge in AFC U-19
Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar: At the Wunna Theikdi Stadium in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, Qatar will take on early group leaders Iraq in a clash for top place in the group, with only goal difference separating the two sides after the first matchday in the AFC U-19 Championship Group D.
Qatar coach Felix Sanchez Bas, meanwhile, is banking on his Qatar side’s familiarity with the conditions and temperatures in Myanmar to help them outlast their opponents, as they took advantage of a tired DPR Korea in the second-half of their Group D opener to score three goals.
“We had more than two months of preparation for this tournament and we are used to these conditions and heat, so we actually felt more comfortable in the second-half of our first game,” said Qatar coach Sanchez Bas, who is boosted by the news that midfielder Abdullah Al Ahrak, stretchered off against the Koreans, should be fit to start on Sunday.
“Abdullah was suffering from cramp in the game, as he is a very young player, but he should be OK for Sunday and hopefully we will win.”
Having enjoyed a comprehensive victory in their first outing against Oman, opposite number Abdulraheem Hameed’s main concern now is complacency amongst his players, with the group stage of the tournament still far from over.
“I am actually afraid of over-confidence such big scorelines can bring because then maybe my players think they can win games without waiting working hard,” said Hameed.
“We have to control against this, though, and start the next match as we began our first game and play the same way.
“The mental aspect is important as the players must be aware that this was just the first game, there are three games in this group, and if you lose one through complacency then it doesn’t matter by how much you won the first game.”