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Monday, January 17, 2011

Metsu confident Qatar can be champions

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Sunday, 16 January 2011 22:52
Doha: Coach Bruno Metsu confidently declared that Qatar can win the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011™ trophy after watching his side book their place in the quarter-finals with a 3-0 victory over Kuwait at Khalifa Stadium on Sunday.

The tournament hosts effectively ended the game as a contest with two goals in five first-half minutes as first Bilal Mohammed struck after 11 minutes before Mohamed El Sayed quickly added a second.

From then on victory was never really in doubt and Fabio Cesar put the icing on the cake with a well-taken free kick four minutes from time.

The scenes of jubilation in the stands at Khalifa Stadium at the end of the match were in stark contrast to those after the opening game of the tournament, when Qatar were downed 2-0 by Uzbekistan.

But Metsu believes the improvement in his side since that game has been clear for all to see and when asked if Qatar can go all the way at the tournament, the Frenchman responded: “Why not? We will strive to get the trophy and it is out right to dream and as you know I am a big dreamer.

“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 today we were better.

“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.

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

Though Qatar have accomplished their initial goal, Metsu was all too aware they have not achieved anything yet and urged his players to put the events of the group stage behind them.

“For us the Asian Cup starts now,” he added.

“It transfers from a mere accumulation of points to aiming for the trophy.

“We have accomplished our task but our ambitions extend beyond that and it will be a great thing for all fans and players (if we can win the trophy).”

A slight sour point for Metsu was that four of his players needlessly picked up yellow cards against Kuwait, which could affect his team selection for their quarter-final match.

“I regret that some players picked up yellow cards," he added.

“Some of those players play on the right and this is an important side for us.  The team has been under intense pressure and perhaps they yielded to that pressure.

“However we have some other players who are very capable. We will provide them with the chance.”

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