Qatar Football AssociationNews
19.10.2014 18:23 in :

Yangon: Myanmar coach Gerd Zeise is sweating on the fitness of a trio of key players ahead of the hosts’ AFC U-19 Championship semi-final with Qatar at Thuwunna Youth Training Centre Stadium on Monday.

Goalkeeper Myo Min Latt and striker Aung Thu both received extended treatment during Friday’s 1-0 quarter-final victory over the United Arab Emirates, with the outfielder being replaced with 10 minutes remaining.

And the pair, along with defender Nan Wai Min who was ruled out of the match against the UAE with injury, are significant doubts for the final-four clash with a Qatar team that is yet to taste defeat in the tournament thus far.

“Our goalkeeper is injured but he is getting treatment, while Nan Wai Min, who didn’t play the quarter-final, has returned to light training. Aung Thu is probably 50-50 to play at the moment,” said Zeise.

“We have some other minor injuries on top of that but we have a good physio department so hopefully they will all be OK to play.”

Having returned seven-time champions Myanmar to the semi-finals of the AFC U-19 Championship for the first time since 1971, and in doing so secured a first-ever place at the FIFA U-20 World Cup finals, the German insisted that although the pressure had lessened somewhat, his team were still highly motivated to reach the final of the tournament for the first time in 44 years.

“It’s not pressure like before, it’s different pressure, we are all Asian teams and in the last four of an Asian tournament so, of course, we all want to win, but we know Qatar want to win too,” said Zeise.

“My team is very motivated, we are already history-makers but the tournament is not over yet.

“We need to be mentally focused against a very tough Qatar team – and we will be – and we will try our best to get a good result in front of our home fans.”

In their action-packed 4-2 quarter-final victory over China on Friday, Qatar also returned to the final four after several decades away, having last appeared at the semi-final stage in 1990. And despite the West Asians having clinched their first FIFA U-20 World Cup place since they hosted the event in 1995, Qatar coach Felix Sanchez Bas is intent on leading his players to the final.

“Getting to the final of this tournament is a big motivation for my players, especially playing against the host team Myanmar in Yangon for what will sure to be a great environment and atmosphere in the home stadium,” said Sanchez Bas.

“We expect a tough game as, obviously, each game you play in a tournament gets more and more difficult.

“But the players will re-focus after the happiness of Friday and be prepared to do their best in the semi-final and hopefully we’ll get the right result.”


Sanchez Bas, however, will have to play Monday’s game without one of his key players in midfielder Assim Madibo who will be suspended following his red card against China, although the Spaniard is confident his team has enough strength in depth to cope with the absence.

“Madibo is an important player as he started all the games so far, but I think we have other players who can take his place and we’ll still be in good shape,” he added.

“We have 23 players in the squad and we try to plan the games and line-ups in the best way we think will work on a game-by-game basis.

“The main style will be the same, though, but we might make some minor changes with respect to our upcoming opponents.