Desire, homework steer Air Force Club to title
Basra: Head coach Basim Qasim knew the exact reasons why Air Force Club emerged victorious in the 2018 AFC Cup final at Basra Sport City on Saturday - desire to win the title for a third time and the homework done ahead of the decider against Altyn Asyr.
Having won their first two AFC Cup titles on foreign soil, Air Force Club were determined to celebrate a third triumph in front of their fans, said Qasim who returned to helm the side just several months ago after having guided them to the 2016 crown.
"We gift this win to Iraq football fans in general, Basra fans and to the Air Force Club fans who we had promised to bring more achievements," said Qasim.
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The squad's desire to win was so great that Qasim said he felt confident going into the final.
"We had great ambition to win the championship for the third time in a row and despite the final being difficult because Altyn gave a good fight, we triumphed thanks to our self belief."
This, said Qasim, had a lot to do with the Air Force Club players following the gameplan.
"We watched Altyn's matches over and over and we prepared a plan for the match, which the players followed exactly to give us the win.
"We knew that Altyn build their attacks from the back and we asked our players to apply high pressure with big numbers on Altyn in their own half which prevented them from building attacks."
Qasim said winning the title has motivated him to aim for more.
"As a coach, I have great ambitions. I am very happy to win the third title for the club, which is the second for me with them after 2016, but we still want more in the coming years.
"Our team has enjoyed great stability in the last few years, as the club has managed to keep all the players and the relations between the players is like one family."