Macau won't hold back in return leg, says Iong
Zhuhai: Macau coach Iong Cho Ieng will send his team out in Colombo on Tuesday for the second leg of their FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023 Preliminary Joint Qualification against Sri Lanka looking for another win despite notching up a 1-0 advantage in the teams’ first meeting in Zhuhai on Thursday.
Filipe Duarte scored the only goal of the game seven minutes into the second half to give Macau a slender advantage after the opening 90 minutes and, while pleased with his team’s performance, Iong wants to see another strong showing from his team in Sri Lanka next week.
“I’m very satisfied with the result and the performance because I don’t think I can ask for more from the players,” said Iong of Macau’s historic first-ever win in FIFA World Cup qualifying. “They gave 100 percent and I’m really happy with the result as well.
“But I think it’s not enough and if in this game we can get 2-0 or more it would have been a better result, but we can say we still have 90 minutes to try to see what will happen."
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“I think we can maybe be more aggressive but the next 90 minutes is another game so we cannot say because of this game that we have won. In the next game we must win. We want at first to defend better and then counter attack and be aggressive to score more goals.”
Macau edged a tight game thanks to Duarte’s close range strike, which came after the Sri Lanka defence failed to fully clear a corner from Lam Ka-seng, with the ball eventually landing at the feet of the Portugal-born defender, who slammed his shot home.
The Sri Lankans often resorted to long-range attempts to find a way past the home defence, with goalkeeper Ho Man-fai rarely troubled by efforts from the likes of Kavindu Ishan and Harsha Fernando from distance.
As a result, Mohamed Packeer Ali’s side need to find a way through the Macau defence in Colombo on Tuesday and the coach is confident his side is capable of picking up the result required to progress to the next phase of the competition.
“We hope to play better and now we know how Macau are playing, we’ll try our level best with the youngsters and the better team will definitely go through,” he said. “These youngsters who are coming through are improving day-by-day and this team have started playing well. They are good at fighting back so we hope to do better in Sri Lanka.
“We played the maximum of our game and we missed many opportunities, but this is part of the game. I think we played well, we played a better game than our opponents and after all this we have a rematch. We’ll analyse this match and act according to that.”
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