Belmadi says more to come from Qatar after draw against Saudi

Belmadi says more to come from Qatar after draw against Saudi

A precious point from their initial outing has given Qatar a firm foundation upon which to build and Belmadi believes they’re more than capable of doing just that in their forthcoming fixtures.



By Alex Leach - Senior Reporter

Published: Fri 14 Nov 2014, 5:33 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 5:39 PM

Riyadh: Qatar boss Djemal Belmadi insists there is yet more to come from his plucky side after they drew their opening Group A game with tournament hosts Saudi Arabia.

Belmadi’s men trailed 1-0 in their opening Gulf Cup outing at the half-time interval here on Thursday night following Fahd Al Muwallad’s 37th-minute strike at the King Fahd International Stadium.

However, the Qataris hit back in the second period to level through Ibrahim Majid’s stooping header and they could well have won it thereafter as a succession of shots rained down on Waleed Ali’s goal.

Still, a precious point from their initial outing has given Qatar a firm foundation upon which to build and Belmadi believes they’re more than capable of doing just that in their forthcoming fixtures against Yemen (Sunday, Kick-off: 6:45pm) and Bahrain (Wednesday, Kick-off: 8:45pm).

“It was a tough game, as we knew it was going to be from the beginning,” Belmadi explained. “The first half was difficult, especially when you have some young players who lack experience in this kind of tournament.

“I wasn’t satisfied with our first-half performance, but we corrected it in the second period and there was more attacking and desire to cope. We had a lot of chances to score in the second half, which we didn’t take.

“We could see how the game had changed. We had more control of the ball and the game and we created chances. The difference was clear.

“Drawing our first game to come away with a point is not that bad, but we have the quality to do better and we will do.”

Bahrain’s 0-0 draw against Yemen means each of the four teams in Group A now have one point with two pool-phase games left to play, which puts an even greater significance on the second-round action on Sunday evening.

“Our goal is – of course – to get through to the semi-finals, so we need to win,” Belmadi openly admitted. “That will be our target.”

alex@khaleejtimes.com


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