Qatar boss Sanchez hails 'great World Cup'

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Qatar head coach Felix Sanchez described Qatar 2022 as a "great World Cup" despite his side being on the verge of elimination following a 3-1 defeat to Senegal on Friday.

Mohammed Muntari gave them hope of snatching a point after Boulaye Dia and Famara Diedhiou had put Senegal 2-0 up, yet substitute Bamba Dieng rounded off Senegal's victory six minutes from time.

The result saw them became only the third host nation to concede three goals in a single group stage game, after South Africa in 2010 and Russia in 2018 (both 3-0 defeats to Uruguay).

Despite the disappointment of a likely early exit, Sanchez was full of praise for the tournament – the first to be held in the Middle East.

"We are aware of how tough this competition is, we wanted to go far but we have some limitations in our country," he said.

"It’s small, we play in a local league that is not the most competitive, but we have made a great effort.

"Expectations were to give good performances and organise a good World Cup. We wanted to show what we can do on the pitch.

"Most of the opponents are ahead of us but the players performed very well. Some moments we managed to compete.

"It's our first World Cup participation. If we could take part in it again, great.

"We want this to be a great World Cup at all levels. That's what we are experiencing – a great World Cup, full stadiums and good matches.

"We are very happy with the attendance. I think they really supported us and we're very proud of our fans who came here to show their support through the game.

Qatar round off their Group A campaign against the Netherlands next week, with Sanchez adamant his side will give everything they have got against Louis van Gaal's more illustrious opponents.

"We have a very tough game ahead of us," he added. "We intend to be competitive. We cannot miss a chance like this to play against the Netherlands, so our plan, the goal is to play a good game.

"We will be facing a team that hopes to go far in the World Cup. The key here is this country has a goal in mind. The World Cup will finish, but football will continue here. We want to keep developing talent, keep competing in Asia."