Anoush Dastgir, coach of Afghanistan’s national football team, at a pre-match press conference on Monday said his team “wants to get results from its match against Qatar” on Tuesday night.
“The Qatari football team is stronger, but we are prepared and tomorrow we will go onto the field seeking a better result,” Dastgir said.
Asian Cup champions Qatar beat Afghanistan 6-0 in their first match in the competition.
“Without a doubt there will be some changes in the team,” Dastgir said, adding that “Omid Popalzai was injured in the match against India, and Hassan Aminzai is sick, so neither will play tomorrow.”
The match will be hosted by Afghanistan at the Central Republic Stadium in Dushanbe, the capital city of neighboring Tajikistan.
Dastgir has urged Afghan fans to support their nation’s side in tomorrow night’s match, and he also thanked them for their support in the match against India.
Faisal Shaista, Afghanistan’s second captain, said the team is ready.
“We have had enough time for preparation, and we can get good results from tomorrow’s match against Qatar,” said Shaista.
Félix Sánchez Bas, Qatar’s coach, said at the same press conference that the Afghan team has changed since Qatar beat them in the previous match.
“Afghanistan’s national football team has completely changed and will not be the team that we beat in the first match,” said Félix Sánchez Bas, “We will witness a different team in tomorrow’s match.”
On Thursday night Afghanistan hosted India and their match ended in 1-1 draw, which kept Afghanistan in third place of Group E with four points from four matches.
Currently, Qatar is on top of Group E with 10 points, Oman is second with 9 points, Afghanistan is third with 4 points, Indian is in fourth with 3 points and Bangladesh is in fifth place with one point.