Palestine coach demands ‘focus’ for first Asian Cup win

Palestine coach demands 'focus' for first asian cup win0

Palestine coach Makram Daboub said his team must be “fully focused” against the United Arab Emirates in the Asian Cup on Thursday, after an emotional loss to Iran in the first game.

Palestine surrendered a goal after just 64 seconds on their route to a 4-1 defeat in Doha, with Daboub admitting that his players were “overexcited”.

The match took place on the 100th day of the Israel-Hamas conflict, giving the event further importance beyond football.

Before kickoff, there was a short minute of quiet, and Daboub admitted that controlling his teammates’ emotions in the first game had been tough.

“In the previous match, the focus at the start of the match was not what we intended,” he remarked Wednesday.

“No coach would want the scenario we had against Iran but the game against UAE is different because we have the same chances and it is important for us to get the three points.”

The Palestinian squad has been compelled to play and practice abroad in preparation for their third Asian Cup.

They have never won a game in the competition and will play a UAE team that defeated Hong Kong 3-1 in their opener.

Daboub said that securing three points against the UAE was “the key to qualifying” for the knockout stage for the first time in Palestine history.

“I think we have the same chance as the UAE and Hong Kong,” stated the Tunisian coach.

“Six points are still available but the next game is the most important one.”

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