Qatar heavy favourites against Bangladesh
Qatar coach Felix Sanchez said his team will go all out for a victory against Bangladesh in their Group E FIFA World Cup and Asian Cup joint qualifying match in Dhaka. After two matches at home – they beat Afghanistan 6-0 and drew 0-0 with India – Qatar will play their first match abroad today, while Oman return to action on home soil against Afghanistan. Qatar and Oman are vying to top the group.
“It is an important match for us. We have prepared well and this match will test all aspects of our preparation,” Sanchez said yesterday.
“We seek a positive result. We will be playing to won,” Sanchez added. “I hope the players do everything in their power to get the desired result,” Sanchez said.
Regarding changes in tactics and possible induction of fresh players, Sanchez said: “We will not go for new tactics. The players are busy with league matches. Our goal is to provide our best and to go for a win in order to get the points.”
He added: “We do our work and strive for development and improvement and the ultimate goal is to have a good team participate in a competitive manner in the 2022 World Cup and the players are committed towards that goal. We will play hard but fair.”
As for absence of key player Akram Afif, he said: “Everyone is ready to play the match. We will determine the playing XI after the last training session. Every player is ready to give 100 percent. We will spare no effort to win this match.”
“I’m wary of the rain, and I have professional players who are able to play in every weather condition. We will do everything to get the three points,” Sanchez said.
Qatar beat Bangladesh 4-1 in the 2007 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers. Back then, Wisam Rizq and Adel Lamy scored in the first half while the recently retired Khalfan Ibrahim bagged a brace to render Mohamed Arman’s sole strike for Bangladesh merely consolation.
Sanchez will be without the services of tenacious midfielder Assim Madibo who underwent surgery after an ankle injury sustained with his club side earlier this month.
Meanwhile, the eight-man-strong Al Sadd contingent in the camp will look to pick themselves up following a heavy 4-1 home defeat to Al Hilal in the AFC Champions League semifinal.
And while Bangladesh’s 187th FIFA ranking is no match to Qatar’s 62nd place, Bangladesh will be encouraged by their performance in the narrow 1-0 defeat to Afghanistan on the opening matchday of the Asian Qualifiers.
Key for the hosts is to be able to stop striker Almoez Ali; the 23-year-old has 17 goals in his last 18 Qatar appearances, including a hat-trick against the Afghans on Matchday One.
Meanwhile, It will be second vs third in Muscat as Oman face Afghanistan for the first time in a competitive match. Both sides have three points to their name, but the hosts have played one game less than their opponents.
Members of the Qatar team train under the watchful eyes of coach Felix Sanchez (R).