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Ould Ali pleased, Cuper disappointed


West Bank: There were mixed emotions at the Faisal Al Husseini Stadium following Palestine's 2-0 victory against Uzbekistan in their Asian Qualifiers Group D match on Thursday. 

It was both teams' first step towards the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 but at the end of 90 minutes, strikes by Oday Dabbagh and Islam Batran meant Palestine head coach Noureddine Ould Ali sported a broad smile while Uzbekistan counterpart Hector Cuper was left to ponder on what could have been.

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“I want to dedicate this victory to the fans,” said Ould Ali. “We achieved what we wanted and got the three points.

“Although our opponents are a strong team, we managed to control the match tactically as we wanted,” he explained. “We managed to get past the pressure in the first quarter of the match and had a good performance.”

However, the Algerian said Palestine should not bask in the victory as they have other important matches ahead.

“I told the players that we should forget what happened tonight and we should start preparing for the match against Singapore,” said Ould Ali, who will be hoping to get another victory against the Southeast Asians on Tuesday.

Cuper didn't hide his disappointment with the result, having targeted three points to kickstart their campaign.

“I’m angry with the players as they showed a lot of confusion and they lost concentration after conceding the first goal,” said the Argentine.

“We should learn a lot from this defeat,” he added. “There are many chances ahead of us and we should try to recover and improve our performances.”

Uzbekistan will not be in action on Matchday Two with Yemen their next opponents on October 10.

Yemen, who drew 2-2 with Singapore on Thursday, play Saudi Arabia at the Bahrain National Stadium in Riffa on Tuesday.

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