Coach Metsu: Qatar must beat the Chinese

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Coach Metsu: Qatar must beat the Chinese

 Qatar's coach, Bruno Metsu, gestures during its 2011 Asian Cup Group A match against Uzbekistan at Khalifa stadium in Doha on Jan 7. Fadi Al-Assaad / Reuters


A disappointing opening loss on home soil has put Qatar coach Bruno Metsu under huge pressure and left the Frenchman with no choice but to secure a victory in the team's second game against China on Wednesday at the Asian Cup.

"This is a very important and decisive match and we are in a situation that we have to win," said the 57-year-old, who took Senegal to the World Cup quarterfinals in 2002. "We know China is very well organized and it will be very difficult for us to win against this Chinese team but we have no choice but to win."

China appears to be in the better form after stunning West Asian Championship and Gulf Cup champion Kuwait in its first game.

Adding pressure to Metsu is the fact that the country's successful 2022 World Cup bid has enhanced expectations about his team.

A 2-0 loss to Uzbekistan in the first round of the cup was a huge blow to the ambitious nation.

That opening match saw a large number of depressed fans walk out of the stadium before the end of the game, leaving half-empty stands.

"I understand the fans, and I apologize to them," said Metsu. "However, I am sure they are still supporting us and standing by us. We didn't play up to their expectations and we will do our best to satisfy them in the following matches.

"This time (against China) the pressure will be different, the first time it came from the opening match and we are the host country, this time it will be related to the result," he said."The most important thing is the mentality of the team."

Compared with the embattled host, the Chinese seem more relaxed.

"I really understand the feeling of the Qatar coach," said China manager Gao Hongbo. "As the host, Qatar has made so many efforts to prepare for the event. The Qatar Football Association also provided a lot of outstanding players to the team, so it seems the coach has to carry all of the responsibilities."

Looking at his team, Gao said: "It's a very valuable experience for our young players to play the host team as our side has played few away games recently.

"We have to play both away and at home in (2014) World Cup qualification, so this match is a good chance for us to gain experience."

He also emphasized his team was not afraid of any opponent.

"Every game is a battle for us in the Asian Cup but the opponents' words have no influence to my team," he said. "All four teams (in our group) didn't play their best in the first round and I think we have to wait until the last game to find out which two teams advance from this group."

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