(MENAFN- The Peninsula)
#Arab Cup 2021 By Ayeni Olusegun | The Peninsula
Doha: Saudi Arabia coach Laurent Bonadei said his players know what to do against Group C leaders Morocco to qualify for the next stage of the FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021.
The Green Falcons need a win at the Al Thumama Stadium today to extend their stay in the competition, provided results in the other Group C match between Palestine and Jordan go their way.
Saudi Arabia have sent a youth-oriented team for the competition, with Bonadei earlier referring to the selection as a roadmap to producing young talent for the regional heavyweights.
“We know what we have to do, and we can still qualify to the next stage of the tournament,” the French coach said.
“All the matches are difficult, and we want to win. We know the Moroccan team well; they are strong and have won both matches already with eight goals, indicating their offensive threat.
'We will prepare ourselves for the match, and as I said, we know what we have to do.”
The Falcons lost their opener by a lone goal to Jordan but showed grit in their second group match to snatch a much-needed point against a resilient Lebanese side.
Though the youngsters were heavily criticized for their opening performance, Bonadei has stuck to his words of building a team for the future in line with first-team coach Herve Renard.
Moroccan team members during a training session in Doha.
“Morocco came to compete for the title, and we are here to prepare a generation for the future, but this does not mean that we did not come to compete. We trust the capabilities of our players, and we will try to do our best to give ourselves a chance.”
Meanwhile, high-flying Morocco are highly touted to go all the way and win the trophy after their impressive displays so far in the tournament. The Atlas Lions are on a remarkable winning streak, with coach Hussein Ammouta insisting that the North Africans will not accept anything other than a victory today.
“We approach every match to learn something new, and we are not allowed to play a cold match, especially with the Saudi national team. We have to play the game with concentration and stick to our tactics. We plan to get the maximum three points, and we are not only interested in winning but also in a good performance,” Ammouta said.
“We achieved the first step, which is qualifying for the quarter-finals. There are still other steps to reach our goal, which is reaching the final and winning the title,” he added.
The 52-year-old former Al Sadd player and coach also praised the fan presence at all Morocco's matches, saying,“We need their presence and hope they continue throughout the tournament, and we salute them for their support.”
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