Tashkent, 7 June 2022 - Head coach Nicolas Cordova is confident Qatar can turn around their fortunes when they face Turkmenistan in their final AFC U23 Asian Cup™ Uzbekistan 2022 Group A fixture on Tuesday.
Qatar have their work cut out for them after conceding six goals to Uzbekistan on Matchday Two and will face a resurgent Turkmenistan side, who came from a goal down to edge Islamic Republic of Iran 2-1.
The defeat saw Qatar drop to the bottom of the Group A standings but Cordova remained defiant of his team’s chances against Turkmenistan at the Bunyodkor Stadium.
“After our heavy defeat against Uzbekistan, we now face a must-win match against Turkmenistan to have at least a fighting chance of advancing to the quarter-finals,” said Cordova. “We were taken aback by Uzbekistan’s attacking display and we have been working on fixing these areas.
“A good thing about football is that it will always give you opportunities to bounce back. It’s important now to focus on the team’s recovery. We will do everything to get them ready for Turkmenistan. Apart from Uzbekistan (who have already qualified), all three teams still have a chance to qualify.
“Of course it will be hard after a defeat like this. We have identified a lot of things to improve on. We also have to prepare the team mentally for the next game.”
After claiming their first AFC U23 Asian Cup victory, Turkmenistan are second in the standings, three points behind Uzbekistan.
Head coach Ahmet Agamyradov has reminded his players that the job is not done yet and they must now focus on avoiding defeat against Qatar.
“We won our first AFC U23 Asian Cup match after we beat Iran and the team played well and now we have another match against Qatar. The players had a good rest and we must do everything we can to qualify for the next round,” said Agamyradov.
“After the Iran victory, I celebrated with my players in the dressing room. We were all very happy after beating Iran. My players deserved to celebrate after their performance. However, I reminded them afterwards that they must focus their attention on our next match against Qatar.”