Kuwait must learn from mistakes, says Al Harbi
Erbil: Kuwait may be 90 minutes away from reaching the 2019 WAFF Championship Final, but Faisal Al Harbi wants his side to learn from the late goal which cost them a win against Jordan on Wednesday.
Al Harbi looked to have set the Kuwaitis on the path to a second successive win when he earned, then converted an early penalty kick against the Jordanians, but Mohammad Al Nassar was sent off, before Salem Al Alajin’s 94th minute equaliser ensured the points would be shared at Erbil’s Franso Hariri Stadium.
Kuwait still need only a draw against Bahrain on Saturday to reach the final as group winners, but Al Harbi is keen to ensure lessons are learned from Wednesday’s missed opportunity.
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“We produced a perfect first half but in the second half we dropped, especially after the sending-off, and Jordan managed to score the equaliser,” said 27-year-old.
“I hope we learn from the mistakes we made and take that into the future matches.”
While not going as far as Al Harbi in his assessment of Kuwait’s opening 45 minutes, head coach Romeo Jozak was also delighted by his side’s start to Wednesday’s clash.
But despite their commanding first-half display, Jozak – who can count the likes of Luka Modric and Mario Mandzukic among his former apprentices – could sense a drop in his side’s performance coming in the warm conditions.
“In the (opening) game against Saudi Arabia I was relatively calm at half time,” said the Croatian. “I was not panicking too much because I knew we were going to have a better second half.
“I was very nervous, I must say, at half time in this game, because we played a very good first half, I was worried.
“We were playing really excellent defence, in the middle block we were jumping high up to the (Jordanian) players, and, physically, we very much wasted ourselves in the first-half.”
“That’s why I wasn’t sure if we would physically be able to play such an offensive, high pressure offence as we had played in the first half."
A positive result against Bahrain will make Jozak’s charges the first Kuwaiti side to reach the final since 2010, when the nation won both the WAFF Championship and Gulf Cup in the same year.
Photos: Iraq Football Association
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