Queiroz wants Qatar’s best in must-win game against Mexico

2023-07-02 | Since 3 Month


California, 2 July 2023 - Qatar, comprising majority of young players, will face their toughest Group B opponents in Mexico desperately needing a victory against the eight-time champions to keep their hopes alive at the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

A shock 2-1 defeat to Haiti in their opening match and a 1-1 draw against Honduras left Qatar in a precarious situation as they look to qualify for the quarter-finals for the second time in as many appearances as a guest side in the tournament.

The Asian champions will face Mexico tomorrow (4:00am, Qatar time) at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California while the other Group B opponents Haiti and Honduras will also square off at the same time at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.

Besides beating the World No.14 Mexico, Qatar – ranked 58th on FIFA computer – also require a favourable result in other group match. A draw in the Haiti-Honduras match or a Honduras win by fewer than three goals coupled with a win over Mexico will pave the way for Qatar to the knockout stage.

El Tricolor, coached by Jaime Lozano, have already entered the quarter-finals after beating Honduras 4-0 and Haiti 3-1. They are eyeing to top Gold Cup group for the fourth consecutive time.

Despite a tough challenge, Qatar coach Carlos Queiroz believes his young guns have the potential to beat Mexico provided they stay focused throughout the match as last-gasp goals from Haiti and Honduras cost them valuable points in their first two matches.

“We conceded late goals in both the matches. We must be ready to face such situations and play in a most effective manner especially against Mexico because we have no other option but to win and collect three points,” said Queiroz.

The coach, who questioned refereeing in both the matches, said youngsters have performed well “collectively” against Haiti and Honduras.

“We lack experience in dealing with crucial situations but we are looking forward to avoiding that in our upcoming game. Mexico is a tough side that has good players in all positions. I am expecting a very exciting and strong match,” said the veteran Portuguese coach.

Speaking on the sidelines of Qatar’s training session at San Jose Earthquakes Stadium, California yesterday, defender Tarek Salman said Qatar will give its best to pull off a victory against Mexico.

“We will play to win against Mexico and give our best to qualify for the quarter-finals. Our aim is to reach far in the tournament like we did in 2021 when we reached the semi-finals. But to keep our chances we must defeat Mexico and we are looking forward to it,” the Al Sadd star said.

“All players are working hard but we are here with young players and we need time to make strong combinations to achieve our goals,” Salman added.

Striker Almoez Ali, who missed both the matches due to muscle strain, didn’t take part in yesterday’s training session and is set to miss match against Mexico also.

Meanwhile, President Qatar Football Association (QFA) Jassim bin Rashid Al Buenain, QFA Vice President Mohammad Khalifa Al Suwaidi and QFA Secretary General Mansour Al Ansari were also present at the stadium during Qatar’s training session.


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