Mon, 30 Nov, -0001
Dubai: A delighted Antonio Puche refused to speculate on whether Al Qadsia will play in the 2015 edition of the AFC Champions League, preferring instead to savour his side’s AFC Cup penalty shootout triumph over Arbil on Saturday evening.
Al Qadsia kept the trophy in Kuwaiti hands after rivals Kuwait Sports Club claimed the title last season and the win was the club’s first in their third appearance in the final.
Danijel Subotic scored the vital penalty to give Al Qadsia a 4-2 win after the game ended scoreless after 120 minutes and make up for the heartache of losing in the final in 2010 and 2013.
“I think this is a very, very big result, I’m very happy for my players, the managers of the club, the group and all the Qadsia fans,” said the Spaniard. “This is fantastic.
“I’m not sure if Qadsia will go to the AFC Champions League or not. I prefer to enjoy with my players and my people this is the most important thing. I’d like to praise the players.
“At this moment I just want to enjoy this. The AFC Champions League is a very big championship for us, but at this moment I don’t think about this situation I just think to enjoy and happy for everyone. Hopefully we can play in it because it’s the best championship in Asia and we want to play in this championship.”
Al Qadsia dominated for most of the game but were unable to turn their superiority into goals, with Kuwait international striker Bader Al Mutwa guilty on several occasions of failing to take opportunities to take the title long before the game went into extra time.
“Bader Al Mutwa is a fantastic player and at any moment he can score but he had three or four chances and he didn’t, score but this is football,” said the coach. “But another time he could score.”
In the end it was left to Subotic to score the penalty that gave Al Qadsia a 4-2 shootout win after Nawaf Al Khaldi had kept out Ali Faez Atiyah’s penalty in the preceding round of spot kicks.
“The game was a difficult game and Arbil are a fantastic team, as I said in the press conference before the game,” said Puche. “They had a fantastic defence, they were very well organised.
“Sometimes in the second half it was difficult for us. After that we improved and we had three or four chances to score that were clear, and in extra time also. But to win the game is the most important for me.”