Doha, 21 January 2024 - Qatar national football team's head coach Marquez Lopez asserted that winning over China on Monday at Khalifa International Stadium is the target of his team in the third and final round of the groups stage of the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023.
Speaking at the pre-match press conference today, Lopez said Qatar's advancement for the round of 16 after beating Lebanon and Tajikistan does not imply that tomorrow's clash is insignificant, but rather important to keep the winning streak, something that will create a great moral impulse when the knock-out round kicks off.
Regarding the team line-up in the match, Lopez said he is going to co-opt best 11 players for this match, by taking into account the interest of his squad in giving chances to some players to compete, in the run-up-to full standby by all players before fighting in the round of 16.
There is no backup in the Qatari team at the moment with 26 players who share same technical level, citing the changes made in the two line-ups during Lebanon and Tajikistan matches, he said.
He added that the Qatari squad respect the competitor, that is why victory will be the prime target in confronting China, affirming that his team will play with far less aptitude than the first two games and will be required to show best level to achieve a moral triumph.
Participation in a continental championship like AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 is a catalyst for all footballers to prove aptitude, Lopez noted, confirming that China will enter the confrontation with major impulses to achieve victory and qualify for the second round, while the Qatari team will fight solely to respect the Qatari fans who will stand with them in huge crowds.
China have not made any victory whatsoever during the previous rounds, but this does not imply that tomorrow's game will be easy, since China are powerful but unfortunate, he said.