AFC Asian Cup: Iraq exit due to poor finishing

 

AFC Asian Cup: Iraq exit due to poor finishing
Mohanad Ali (No 10) ran with passion and aggression into the Qatari box but it was always the speed which was his undoing.

Abu Dhabi - 'All the players want to finish the job in a hurry'

By Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Wed 23 Jan 2019, 9:21 PM

Last updated: Wed 23 Jan 2019, 11:27 PM

Led by teenager Mohanad Ali, Iraq had 13 shots against Qatar but couldn't convert even one of them during their Round of 16 match of the AFC Asian Cup 2019.
The Iraqis took more shots at the goal but their accuracy rate of shots at the target was a dismal 15 per cent.
While Mohanad ran with passion and aggression into the Qatari box, it was always the speed which was his undoing.
Iraq's coach Srecko Katanec acknowledged that the players gave everything on the pitch but lacked bite in their attack to complete the job.
"We have a solid team. We conceded (goal) off free-kick. My players gave everything. I told them to chin up. We showed in this tournament that we can play good football. But what we miss is with our play in last 20 or 30 metres. We don't have a kind of a player who can make that crucial last pass and finish the job. Mohanad wanted to do so much but made simple mistakes. All the players want to finish the job in a hurry. They need to be clam in 20 metres area from the goal. You need to be mentally strong and handle pressure in a better way," he said at the post-match press conference.
The former UAE coach said things will only get better from here as he has taken over only few months back. "We have lot of young players. We have lot of work to do."
The coach also noted that his plans went haywire as three players suffered injuries during the match
"We were unlucky with three players injured. It happened first time for me. It changed my plans to bolster the striking force but unfortunately I couldn't, that's football."
However, Katanec and players leave the UAE shores with heads held high. The young players have given a good account on themselves.
ashwani@khaleejtimes.com


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