Doha, Qatar: Al Sadd coach Jesualdo Ferreira was delighted having made all the right calls on Tuesday as the Wolves scored a memorable victory against reigning Qatar Stars League champions Al Duhail SC on Tuesday.
“The most important thing is the win and the three points. Al Duhail were not weak for most of the match; we were not deceived by their draws in their last two games. Their players have a winning mentality and they came into this game looking to win and increase the gap. But we turned up and got the win,” said Ferreira at the post match press conference.
“Despite the win, I am not satisfied with the players’ performance because they could have given a better showing. I think the players’ performance needs to improve in the next period if we want to win the league.”
He added: “It was an even match. We made a lot of mistakes in passing and the players were evidently fatigued. The pressure was more on the Al Sadd players than on Al Duhail. But I am delighted that we are on top of the league table, this has come about after a lot of effort put in by the players throughout the season.”
Sadd have now completely turned the corner after a disappointing few days during which they lost to Persepolis in the Champions League, and to Al Ahli in the Qatar Stars League, which dealt a big blow to their chances and Ferreira was happy about it.
“This is the seventh win in a row for us in the league, after the Champions League exit and the defeat to Al Ahli. I am happy for that and I want to congratulate the players for these results. The biggest winners are the players themselves, they put in a lot of hard work, since in the league, Champions League and with the national team. Al Sadd are the biggest contributor to the Qatar national team, who I wish all the best for the upcoming Asian Cup.”
Ferreira also was all praise for his rivals, saying they were the better team.
“Al Duhail were better than us in this game despite us winning it. They are capable of achieving big things after the return of their injured players. Duhail and us, both of us have a tough task in the upcoming period because the absence of the international players who will join the national team. Everyone knows how much Sadd and AlDuhail contribute to the national team and I am worried that the players will get injured. I hope they return in their best conditions, all prepared to restart the league with the same momentum.”
Finally, the coach concluded by saying: “For us, the first phase of the league is over now. It is difficult to predict who will win the league. There is a two-month break and we will suffer more than Al Duhail due to the absence of the international players. I don’t know what we will do without these players.”
Ferreira’s biggest call was to bring in Salem Al Hajri in place of more established South Korean star Jung-Woo Young in the 64th minute and the young Qatari midfielder vindicated his coach’s decision by scoring a beautiful goal in the 89th minute, which gave Sadd the lead.
Al Hajri was obviously delighted with his effort.
“I am very happy with the goal I scored because it came at a tough time and after a lot of effort. This will remain the most precious goal for me, especially as it is my first with Al Sadd,” said Al Hajri. “Winning this game and going top of the league will give us a push to keep on winning in the second phase of the league, so that we can maintain the top spot for the rest of the season and win the league title.”