DOHA: Asian champions Qatar will be looking to pick up their first points on Friday when they face Senegal in their second match at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
On Sunday, Qatar – coached by Felix Sanchez – tripped at the first hurdle when they lost to Ecuador 2-0 in the opening match played at Al Bayt Stadium where 67,000 fans had turned up to watch the Group A clash.
Qatar, who will take on the Netherlands in their last Group A match on Nov 29, must first tackle Senegal who incidentally lost the first match against the Dutch on Monday.
The second match for Qatar will take place at Al Thumama Stadium where Al Annabi last year faced Algeria in their FIFA Arab Cup clash.
Qatar’s attackers Almoez Ali and Akram Afif along with their captain Hassan Al Haydos will have to be firing form to score goals that did not come in the first match on Sunday.
This is the first time Qatar are appearing in a World Cup and a win on Friday will be their first at the game’s showpiece event that has brought together 32 teams for the Nov 20-Dec 18 spectacle.
Sanchez wants more from his players on Friday.
“There’s no excuse, we want to congratulate our opponents, they deserved to win,” Sanchez said after the match. “There is a lot of room for improvement. Maybe the responsibility and nerves got the best of us. We didn’t start well. It was a terrible start, actually. Our nerves betrayed us.
“We were unable to string together four passes in a row. Also, many defensive gaps. The team was not balanced and that hurt us a lot. When you play against a team of this level…you pay for it,” the Spaniard added.
Senegal, coached by Aliou Cisse, are without their attacking powerhouse Liverpool’s Sadio Mane who pulled out of the tournament injured. In his absence, Senegal struggled to contain the Dutch strikeforce on Monday when they conceded two late goals in the Group A clash. Senegal had only 15 shots at th Dutch goal much to the dismay of Cisse.
“We are disappointed to have not scored, we had two or three very good chances,” Cisse told reporters after the match. “We needed to be more effective in front of goal.
“Ismaila and Krepin are responsible there, but of course, the absence of Mane is a problem for us… Our attackers are good and we know what they are capable of,” he added.
“It was a challenging game… We need to work on it (scoring goals) with Ismaila and the others. We expect a lot from him and Krepin,” Cisse said.
Source: Qatar Olympic Committee