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Sanchez shifts focus to El Salvador as Qatar look to continue Gold Cup adventure

Houston: Buoyed by Qatar's qualification to the 2021 Gold Cup quarter-finals, head coach Felix Sanchez now wants the reigning AFC Asian Cup champions to take their dynamic form into the knockout stage.

Qatar defeated Honduras 2-0 on Wednesday to top Group D, with goals from Homam Ahmed and Abdelaziz Hatim taking them to seven points and a meeting with El Salvador on Saturday.

The West Asians, playing in the Gold Cup on an invitational basis, have been in sparkling form and Sanchez expects them to shine against El Salvador as they continue their preparations for the FIFA World Cup 2022 on home soil.

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"Firstly, I congratulate the players for the excellent account they presented of themselves in a match in which we were the best from the start,” Sanchez said.

“In the first half, we had many chances to score. In the second half also, we played well. The players have proven that they are playing with great responsibility and with great professionalism in such crucial matches. The focus was there from our side, and this is the one key thing I can ask for as a coach.”

Having advanced to the quarter-finals in their maiden participation in the Gold Cup, Qatar will play a familiar foe in Group A runners-up El Salvador.

“We played against them during our camp in Croatia in a friendly match. So we know our opponents, and they also know us. The friendly matches are just a test only, although we learned a lot about them.

“El Salvador have been playing well. Even in their last match with Mexico (which they lost 1-0), they were good. For this match, they will be strong, and we have to prepare well for it.”

Photo: AFP

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