Sanchez wants Qatar to ‘improve’ in every match


Qatar will face Slovenia in a friendly match today, with head coach Felix Sanchez hoping his players can carry the momentum from their win against Bulgaria. On Saturday, the Asian champions beat Bulgaria 2-1 with Akram Afif and stand-in captain Boualem Khoukhi on the score sheet. Sanchez wants more of the same today against Slovenia at the Education City Stadium, as the Spaniard looks to experiment with his tactics and rotate players. 
Slovenia, like Bulgaria, have not qualified for this year’s FIFA World Cup Qatar, but the European side should still provide a good work out for the hosts who are preparing for the showpiece event. Sanchez said he wants his players to improve with every match and grow with experience. “We play all our friendly matches seriously, and we try to improve our performance and develop it in a way that suits our capabilities. I am happy with the victory against Bulgaria in the last game and I hope that the positive results will continue,” he said yesterday.
Slovenia held 2018 World Cup runners-up Croatia to a 1-1 draw in another friendly on Saturday, which, Sanchez felt, shows the quality of Matjaz Kek’s side. “It will be a different match, the opponents are strong. They presented a very good level in the draw against Croatia. We must be strong and continue to show the personality that we showed against Bulgaria,” said Sanchez.


Slovenia missed out on a World Cup ticket after they finished fourth in their qualifying group. A tally of 14 points from their 10 qualifying encounters ensured Kek’s side finished behind Croatia, Russia and Slovakia in a fiercely contested group.
Their friendly match on Saturday looked to be heading towards a Croatia victory after Andrej Kramaric had found the net in the first half, however, in the first minute of stoppage time, Jaka Bijol came up trumps to deny Croatia the win.
Kek said his team was expecting a tough challenge from the home side. “Qatar is good and an organised team, and the match will not be easy. Those who watched them against Bulgaria will clearly see the imprint of the coach’s work,” the Slovenia coach.
“The match is difficult because they are playing at home, and they have been preparing for the World Cup for a long time and have had experiences on big occasions,” he added.
In today’s another friendly, Croatia and Bulgaria will lock horns at the Education City Stadium at 5pm.

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