Defending champs Qatar eye victory against Yemen| MENAFN.COM

Monday, 27 June 2022 09:36 GMT

Defending champs Qatar eye victory against Yemen


(MENAFN- Gulf Times) Defending champions Qatar are confident of winning three points when they take on Yemen in their Gulf Cup opening match today.
The match will be played at the Kuwait Sports Club Stadium, while Bahrain take on Iraq in another Group B clash. The Yemen match represents a solid opportunity to start the tournament on a winning note and coach Felix Sanchez was keen on ensuring just that.
'Our ambition is to play a very good game against Yemen and then get a good result also. We want to start with three points. Then we will think about the next game. We will go step by step in this tournament, Sanchez said.
The Spaniard said that winning the first match of any event helps a long way in improving the chances of the team winning the tournament.
'We have prepared well. We know it pays when you start well in a tournament. So we are looking at our first game with intention of winning it, Sanchez told a packed media conference yesterday.
'When you make a good start, you usually do well and settle into a nice rhythm. The players have been working very hard. They want to play a good tournament. We have the potential (to dominate), the Spaniard added.
'All the players we have here are obviously the best ones we have. All the players involved in the squad are very motivated to do well. We are the defending champions. We want to compete hard against what are very good teams.
When asked to comment on the Yemen team, Sanchez said: 'Yemen is a good side. I would say they have a group of talented players. They have some brilliant individual players. They have our respect. They are a fine bunch of players. We will try to attack early.
Qatar captain Hassan al-Haydos also echoed Sanchez's views. 'We have an important match with an ambitious Yemeni team. We know them well. They are a talented side with players who have very good individual skills.
He added: 'Their players help them create real problems for any team they face so we will be very careful in this match. All our focus now is on the first game against Yemen. This is a tough competition. We do not take any side lightly. It is the same with Yemen.
Yemen's Ethiopian coach Abraham Mebratu said his team has prepared to spring a surprise. 'As you know, we have not won a game in Gulf Cup. That is history but we are here to make new history. For the match against Qatar, we are ready, Mebratu said.
'We are here to make new history for Yemen. We want to make people happy, he added. 'The group is strong for me. Qatar ended up playing the 2018 World Cup qualifying matches. They also have great experience of playing and doing well in the Gulf Cup tournaments. We respect them. But remember there are no small teams in football, he said.
Meanwhile, the event opened with a glittering opening ceremony attended by Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah
al-Ahmad al- Jaber al-Sabah. He drove into the stadium amid cheers from the packed stadium.
The ceremony featured musical and artistic shows expressing the spirit of 'one Gulf. The main show was themed 'Our eternal Gulf, with nine songs that welcomed 'brothers from Arabian Gulf countries, each conveyed a gesture of a competing team.
A plethora of Kuwaiti top singers took part in the show that was followed by fireworks amid vibrant cries of joy from thousands of spectators at the venue.
In yesterday's opening Group A matches, Saudi Arabia beat Kuwait 2-1 while the UAE defeated Oman 1-0.


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