Qatar coach: Team must shut out ‘noise’ in World Cup opener
Qatar’s coach, Sheikh Ali Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, said his side need to raise their intensity and shut out any “noise” in their opener against Saudi Arabia.
The Gulf nation is making its global debut at the World Cup and meet Saudi Arabia in the opening match of Group F.
“They are strong in every aspect, but it is just the first game,” Al-Thani told reporters before the match.
“We cannot afford to let anyone spoil the start of the tournament.
“In fact, we shouldn’t let anyone spoil the start of the World Cup,” he said.
“We must shut them out, no matter what noise they give out in the stadium.
“We need to raise the intensity, because if not, we will let down fans and teams who have started to train with us because of the great atmosphere in the stadiums.”
Al-Thani said his own players – including players from the women’s team – were motivated and their “passion” would make them a team to reckon with.
“We need to give everything in the tournament,” the 51-year-old coach said.
In addition to making Qatar its first World Cup debut, the country is making its first appearance in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) semi-finals following a 6-0 quarter-final victory over Jordan.
Al-Thani has named the same nine players who scored against Jordan in the team’s first game, but he is hopeful that the players will step up their game against Saudi Arabia.
“Our players have played in the semi-finals and we have played against a team in the semi-finals,” the former Qatar national team captain said.
“So when we play against Saudi Arabia, it is a very important game.
“We have already trained for the semi-finals and I am sure we will be ready.
“We already proved we have the