Edgy Qatar in battle to keep Cup dream alive

November 14, 2012 - 2:25:26 pm

DOHA: Qatar take on Lebanon in their 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying match today knowing another home loss would jeopardise their chances of going to the next round. 

Qatar, who lost to Uzbekistan in their last Asian Zone clash on October 16, are at the bottom of Group A with four points from as many matches. 

South Korea (7), Iran (7), Uzbekistan (5) and Lebanon (4) are above Qatar. 

Despite the tardy show against Uzbekistan last month, inspirational midfielder Adel Lamy yesterday urged fans not to give up on the Qatari side. 

“We are responsible for the position we are in. We know our last defeat left us in a bad position. But there are many examples of teams going forward at the last few steps. We can do it too,” Lamy said at a press conference yesterday. 

“We can get the wins in the last-minute and move on. We can still reach our dream (of reaching Brazil for the 2014 World Cup finals),” the Lekhwiya player added. 

“As you know, they are a great side. They have done extremely well in the last two matches,” Lamy explained. 

“They have made good results. It is going to be tough. But we are prepared. We want to follow our dream. As you know we beat Lebanon (in June). We want to win this also,” he added.  

Coached by Brazilian Paulo Autuori, Qatar have been patch in their performances in the last six months. 

Prior to their loss against Uzbekistan, Autuori’s side stunned hosts Iran with a brave show to walk off Azadi Stadium with a goalless draw on June 12. The goalless draw came after a 4-1 thrashing by Korea Republic in Doha on June 8. 

Five days earlier Qatar beat Lebanon 1-0 on June 3.

Autuori urged his players to produce the ‘spirit of Tehran’ to pick up points against Lebanon. 

“Now we need a positive result. If you remember, after our Korean loss (on June 8), we played well against Iran in Iran. I want a similar performance. We need the same spirit we saw against Iran,’ Autuori said. 

“I have told my players that we have to start from zero. Every team does that. Every match is different. We don’t want to have a loser mentality. So if we can’t win, then we congratulate the opponents. We just need to regain our confidence. 

“We have a tough match. We are trying to do good things We need a good result. But we are ready to play. I just hope they show good reaction. 

“If you see, we are the only team to Lebanon so far. I hope players show good reaction,” Autuori added.  

Theo Bucker, coach of Lebanon, dismissed the notion that his side was looking for a revenge. 

“We are not thinking of revenge. We are looking to play football that can help us win,” Bucker said. 

“I repeat this is not a revenge match. We are not here to go for some revenge. We have played well in the last two months. We have been improving step by step. We just need to concentrate,” he added.

“We are trying to prepare better for each match. We haven’t had this kind of experience or success in the past. 

“We are trying to get points,” the German added.  

Lebanon captain Reda Antar said: “We have prepared well. We have been training for some two weeks for this match. We are looking at a good result. Ali Haider is injured. The others are fit.” 

Autuori said Qatar is certain to miss Marcone who is injured. 

THE PENINSULA

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