Sanchez halis incredible achievement
Yangon, Myanmar: Coach Felix Sanchez Bas praised his Qatar players for their “incredible achievement” in claiming a maiden AFC U-19 Championship title with their 1-0 victory over DPR Korea in Thursday’s final and insisted the nation had now taken a “big step” towards a successful experience when they host the FIFA World Cup in 2022.
Yangon: Coach Felix Sanchez Bas praised his Qatar players for their “incredible achievement” in claiming a maiden AFC U-19 Championship title with their 1-0 victory over DPR Korea in Thursday’s final and insisted the nation had now taken a “big step” towards a successful experience when they host the FIFA World Cup in 2022.
Super sub Akram Afif scored the only goal in the championship decider at Thuwunna Youth Training Centre Stadium within seconds of entering the field just five minutes into the second half to end Korean hopes of a fourth championship.
Instead, it was Sanchez Bas and his players’ celebrations that capped off an undefeated campaign in Myanmar with the historic victory resulting in Qatar’s first AFC championship title since they lifted the AFC U-16 Championship trophy 24 years ago.
“I’m very happy for this incredible achievement, especially for the players who have shown a great attitude throughout and were a pleasure to work with during this whole tournament,” said Sanchez Bas.
“What we achieved is amazing; we knew that it was a good opportunity for us to end this title drought. The players did everything to win this championship for themselves and for the country of Qatar.
“We played six difficult games, and with each game we faced different tough scenarios. In the first game we had to come back from 1-0 down, then the same against Iraq, and a hard game with Oman, but the team showed hard work and came back each time.
“In the quarter-final against China they were nervous because of the available ticket for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup for the winner, but again the players showed a great performance. And against Myanmar in the semi-final at a packed stadium it was an incredible environment, and we came back to get a result again – that shows the spirit and great attitude of these players.”
With the Gulf nation due to host the FIFA World Cup in eight years’ time, Sanchez Bas was adamant that the progress shown by the development side augured well for the future of the senior team with the prospect of the World Cup finals looming large on the horizon.
“Qatar is trying to develop these players and youths by sending them to different clubs in Europe to give them a more professional environment to work in and so far it’s working well as we can see from this tournament in Myanmar,” said the Spaniard.
“We hope that some of these players will play at the World Cup when Qatar hosts it in 2022 but there is still a long way to go.
“All of them have many steps to take before then. But today was a very big step. The players have some years in front of them still and they have to keep working hard to keep up the same level that they showed in this tournament.”