Posted on January 08, 2011

Qatar coach Bruno Metsu pulled no punches in his assessment of his side's 2-0 defeat to Uzbekistan that saw their AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011™ campaign get off to a hugely disappointing start.

A fantastic strike from Odil Akhmedov and an opportunist finish from Server Djeparov downed the hosts 3-0 in the Group A encounter at Khalifa Stadium, a result that leaves Qatar's hopes of reaching the quarter-finals very much in the balance.

Uzbekistan ran out deserved winners after controlling large parts of the game, although Qatar were unfortunate not to take the lead before the break when Fabio Cesar's wickedly curling free-kick came back off the post.

However, Metsu was honest enough to concede his side were simply not good enough in an error-strewn display.

Qatar head coach, Bruno Metsu at the post-match press conference.

“Today is a very bad start for our team,” he said.

“We wanted to play well for the people, for everybody but we played a very bad game today. I'm sorry for the fans, for everybody but sometimes it is very difficult to play well right from the start of a tournament, particularly with pressure on the players.

“I hope that the team will improve and I think it is very possible because today there were many mistakes and the players need to give something more for the next game.

“I think the players wanted to give their best but there was a lot of pressure on them and they forgot everything.

“Today is really a bad day. Sometimes the opening game is very difficult, it's not the first time a host team has lost their first game. They worked very hard for this game but sometimes the opposite happens and this was the case today.

“It is important to protect the players. If there is one problem, one mistake, it's on me.”

Qatar will now turn their attention to Wednesday's clash with China, one from which Metsu stressed they need all three points if they are to harbour realistic ambitions of reaching the last eight.

“For us, this game we need to win only,” he added.

“No question, no calculations, nothing. If we want to get to the second round, the only result is to win.

“We have five or six days to prepare for this game and also, I think the pressure is different for the second game for our team. I think it is possible, I respect China because they are also a good team but what my team showed today is not us."