Qatar - Saudi Arabia Palestine meet in must win clash| MENAFN.COM

Wednesday, 19 January 2022 05:48 GMT

Qatar - Saudi Arabia Palestine meet in must win clash


(MENAFN- The Peninsula) #Arab Cup 2021 By Ayeni Olusegun | The Peninsula

Doha: Saudi Arabia and Palestine would be eager for victory to kickstart their FIFA Arab Cup campaign when both sides lock horns at the Education City Stadium today.

Regional heavyweights Saudi Arabia fell to Jordan in their opening Group C match while Palestine were outclassed by Morocco 4-0. 

The Saudis are the youngest team in the tournament, with an average age of 21. The inexperience was evident against Jordan as the team failed to take their chances despite creating many.

Laurent Bonadei, coach of the team, said though his players are young, they can still improve their performances, especially in the attack. 

“We rely on a young team in this tournament, with an average age of 21 years, and there is no problem, especially since the team is developing and gaining a lot through these important experiences. We believe in the importance of this team developing, and we do not regret participating in the tournament,' the French coach said.

Bonadei's team came in for heavy criticism from fans after their opening loss, but he stressed that the team prepared well for the tournament.

“Criticisms are normal, especially in the event of a loss. The technical staff prepared well for the tournament, and the team selection was made with the participation of the technical staff of the first team to build a strong team for Saudi Arabia that includes a large number of young players,” he added.

The Green Falcons have never lost to Palestine in their six previous meetings with three wins and three draws. A win today would set up a mouth-watering final group round clash against Morocco. 

“We have to win against Palestine and compensate for the loss against Jordan, and the players are ready to put in all their efforts.” 

Palestine coach Makram Daboub is optimistic about his team's chances against Saudi Arabia, but the Tunisian is wary of the opponent's strength despite fielding only young players for the competition.

“We have to play the match with high concentration and without mistakes, especially since we will face a well-known and strong team even if they are participating with a different group of players. These players play in the Saudi League with strong clubs, and they have great capabilities,” Daboub stressed.

“We aim to come out with a positive result and put behind our performance against Morocco. We are working hard to be at our best and present better quality in the next match.”

Daboub also had high praises for the organisers and the teams' quality of play despite most being without their well-established stars.“There are differences in the technical level between the teams. The North African teams, like Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, and Egypt, are top sides and have shown their quality. Also, the tournament's organisation is at the highest level, and Qatar shows every day its high capabilities in hosting such events.”

 

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