Doha: Qatar coach Felix Sanchez said his players have shown that they could compete against top teams after they put up a battling performance against the Czech Republic despite going down by a solitary goal in their friendly match at Al Duhail Stadium on Saturday.
Qatar struggled to find their rhythm in the first half during which the Czechs took the lead, but Sanchez’s men were a transformed lot in the second period and could easily have won the match had the forwards shown more composure in front of the goal.
“First half it was difficult for us. We could only depend on counter-attack as they had most of the possession, said Sanchez at the post-match press conference. “In the second half we dominated the game. The players showed good level.”
“Initially some of our players could not adjust to the pace of the game, but it was not a bad half,” Sanchez said about the first half performance.
“This match showed we can compete with top teams. We need to keep working on our weaknesses. We need to take these opportunities to reach proper levels and to compete at the top level.
Qatar will take on Iceland in their next friendly on Tuesday, and Sanchez said he expected his players to continue in the same fashion.
Meanwhile, Czech Republic coach Karel Jarolim praised Qatar’s performance, saying they played a very fast game.
“Qatar played a very fast game, it was kind of Spanish style and it was tough for my players and that’s why I’m happy with the result,” said Jarolim, whose side narrowly missed out on a berth at the World Cup after finishing third, behind Germany and Northern Ireland in Group C.