Thu, 08 Dec 2022

'Nerves got better of us,' says Qatar boss Sanchez

21 Nov 2022, 05:44 GMT+10

AL KHOR, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- Qatar manager Felix Sanchez admitted his team suffered from an attack of nerves during their 2-0 defeat to Ecuador in Sunday's opening match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Fenerbahce forward Enner Valencia scored two first-half goals as World Cup debutants Qatar became the first host team to lose the opening match of football's showpiece tournament.

"Nerves got the better of us," Sanchez told a post-match press conference. "We competed well but it's a World Cup and we were playing in it for the first time. In front of our fans we weren't able to be at the level we would have liked after a bad start."

Sanchez vowed he and his backroom staff would analyze what went wrong and make any necessary changes ahead of their next match against Senegal on Friday.

"It wasn't the game we'd hoped for," he said. "We have to analyze the match and try to prepare for the next one, which will be as tough or even tougher than this one. We will look at how we can be more effective with the players we have available."

"We have to congratulate our opponents. They were deserving winners. We can improve a lot and we know we haven't shown our maximum level. Nerves got the better of us early. We started badly and that hurt us. We have to handle the pressure better and be more competitive in our next matches."

The Spaniard, who has been Qatar's manager since 2017, added: "We lacked precision at key moments and we weren't able to string more than four passes together.

"We were also poor in transitions. When you play at this level if you make a mistake you get punished. We will try to be stronger and more compact in our next match. We know that we have to move the ball faster and pass the ball better to be effective against teams in this competition."

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