Qatar have level to show as they open Asian Cup finals and title protection within the Lusail

By Samindra Kunti in Doha

January 12 – Hosts and defending champions Qatar tackle Lebanon within the curtain raiser of the Asian Cup on Friday with a degree to show on residence soil after a disastrous World Cup marketing campaign and the shock dismissal of Carlos Queiroz final month. Captain Hassan Al Haydos believes the workforce must ship a message to the followers. 

Tintin Marquez stepped in to take over from the veteran Portuguese coach Quieroz and there’s little doubt that the managerial change so near the finals altered the preparations of the workforce.

Qatar picked up a good-looking 3-0 win in opposition to Cambodia on the final day of the 12 months however slumped to a 2-1 defeat in opposition to Jordan of their ultimate warm-up match earlier than Friday’s large kick-off in opposition to the Lebanese at Lusail Stadium.

“We’re enjoying the Asian Cup as title holders and in our own residence, so we’ve to carry out and present to the followers that we imply enterprise,” mentioned Al Haydos.

“I believe the 2019 era raised our ranges and ambitions. We’re at all times required to win in any sport and championship we take part in. However challenges are a part of soccer and I hope we will cope with this stress and stress in a optimistic method.”

The showpiece match will as soon as once more throw the Maroons into the highlight and they are going to be hoping for a much better displaying than these deflating 90 minutes in opposition to Ecuador within the opening match of the World Cup final 12 months in Al Bayt.

Lebanon represents modest opposition, however Qatar are not the drive from 4 years in the past once they claimed their maiden continental title and had been on an upward trajectory earlier than all of it fell aside.

“For us as gamers, we want the followers greater than ever from the primary minute to the top of the sport, and I hope that we will get as many factors as doable to get to the subsequent spherical,” mentioned Haydos.

“It’s a comparatively good group the place all of the groups have very related ranges and tomorrow we’re beginning a brand new problem for us.”

Qatar held a prolonged coaching camp to arrange for the finals, besides, Marquez, beforehand with native membership Al Wakrah, had little alternative to mould the workforce to his picture. He nevertheless downplayed the shortage of time and doesn’t see it as an excuse.

“My expertise in Qatar helps me convey my concepts to the gamers. I do know the gamers’ efficiency, and the way they react and act on the pitch which has made it simpler. The gamers have a variety of affect, a variety of ambition and a variety of will which helps us lots to go ahead. We’ve got undergone intensive preparation and definitely, it’s not a straightforward job, particularly with the restricted time accessible.”

A minimum of historical past is on Qatar’s aspect in opposition to Lebanon. They’re unbeaten of their final seven matches in opposition to the lowest-ranked workforce within the competitors.

The guests have a brand new commander as effectively – Midrog Radulovic. He changed Croatian Nikola Jurcevic and is in his second stint with Lebanon.

“In soccer, progress takes time, it’s not an in a single day achievement,” mentioned Radulovic.

“I do know lots of the gamers on this group, a mix of expertise and youth. The outcomes of the latest friendlies have indicated that we’re heading in the right direction. We expect a high-quality sport in opposition to Qatar.”

On the 2019 Asian Cup, the 2 groups confronted off of their opening match and the Qataris prevailed 2-0. That was the proper begin to an ideal competitors for the Maroons and they are going to be hoping for extra of the identical on Friday, and a return to the Lusail for the ultimate in a month’s time.

Contact the author of this story at moc.l1705026106labto1705026106ofdlr1705026106owedi1705026106sni@i1705026106tnuk.1705026106ardni1705026106mas1705026106


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