We can win the Asian Cup now, Qatar's Metsu declares

0 CommentsPrint E-mail China Daily, January 18, 2011
Adjust font size:

Buoyant Qatar coach Bruno Metsu declared his team can now win the Asian Cup after booking a place in the quarterfinals for only the second time.

The 2022 World Cup host, which has only reached the last eight once before in seven previous attempts, ensured it stayed alive with an impressive 3-0 victory over Gulf champion Kuwait on Sunday evening.

It went through after Uzbekistan drew 2-2 with China to top Group A, allowing Qatar to finish second.

Relieved Frenchman Metsu, who coached Senegal to the 2002 World Cup finals and has also managed the United Arab Emirates, said the achievement showed Qatar's true colors and its ambitions were high.

Asked if it could now win the tournament, he replied: "Why not? We will strive to get the trophy and it is our right to dream - and as you know, I am a big dreamer."

Captain Bilal Mohammed got the opening goal on 11 minutes and Mohamed El Sayed scored the second five minutes later.

Brazilian-born substitute Fabio Cesar put the game beyond doubt four minutes from time with a beautifully weighted free-kick that left the goalkeeper stranded.

It capped a remarkable comeback by Qatar, which lost its opening match to the Uzbeks 2-0 and then rebounded to beat China by the same scoreline.

"We have qualified and being the host nation in this tournament it was very important for us to qualify," Metsu said.

"We have accomplished what we set out to do but our ambition is to go well beyond this. The fans deserve it. In the beginning we did not represent the true picture of the Qatar team.

"The players were very much influenced by the importance of the opening match. But the game against China was the starting point of the team and against Kuwait we were better."

Metsu knows that had he lost the China match his job would have been hanging by a thread, with Gulf teams renowned for firing coaches who do not deliver, as shown by Saudi Arabia, which axed Jose Peseiro.

Metsu thanked the Qatar federation for its faith in him.

"I would like to take this opportunity to say thanks to all Qatar officials for their trust in me after losing the first match against Uzbekistan and they did not resort to actions like the Saudi Football Federation," he said.

"I dedicate this win to the officials and the Qatar Football Association and all the players."

Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comments

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from China.org.cnMobileRSSNewsletter