We’ll try our level best with the youngsters – Packeer Ali

2022 FIFA World Cup Qualification

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Sri Lanka Head Coach Nizam Packeer Ali speaking at a Press Conference

Nizam Packeer Ali’s side will have to fight from a goal down in the 2nd leg against Macau in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023 Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 1 and will hope the result won’t be the same as four years ago against Bhutan.

Sri Lanka lose despite early dominance

Sri Lanka played Macau in Zhuhai China in the……….

Filipe Duarte scored the only goal of the game seven minutes into the second half to give Macau a slender advantage after the opening 90 minutes and, while pleased with his team’s performance, Packeer Ali wants his side to fight hard and play better.

“We hope to play better and now we know how Macau are playing, we’ll try our level best with the youngsters and the better team will definitely go through,” he said.

“These youngsters who are coming through are improving day-by-day and this team has started playing well. They are good at fighting back so we hope to do better in Sri Lanka.”

Sri Lanka need to find a way through the Macau defence in Colombo on Tuesday and the coach is confident his side can pick up the result required to progress to the next phase of the competition.

The Sri Lankans often resorted to long-range attempts to find a way past the home defence, with goalkeeper Ho Man-Fai rarely troubled by a couple of efforts.

“We played the maximum of our game and we missed many opportunities, but this is part of the game. I think we played well, we played a better game than our opponents and after all this we have a rematch. We’ll analyse this match and act according to that.”

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Macau coach Long Cho Leng will send his team out in Colombo on Tuesday for the second leg of their game against Sri Lanka looking for another win, despite notching up a 1-0 advantage in Zhuhai.

“I’m very satisfied with the result and the performance because I don’t think I can ask for more from the players,” said Long of Macau’s historic first-ever win in FIFA World Cup qualifying. “They gave 100 percent and I’m really happy with the result as well.

“But I think it’s not enough and if in this game we can get 2-0 or more it would have been a better result, but we can say we still have 90 minutes to try to see what will happen.”

Macau edged a tight game thanks to Duarte’s close-range strike, which came after the Sri Lanka defence failed to fully clear a corner from Lam Ka-seng, with the ball eventually landing at the feet of the Portugal-born defender, who slammed his shot home.

“I think we can maybe be more aggressive but the next 90 minutes is another game, so we cannot say because of this game that we have won. In the next game we must win. We want at first to defend better and then counter attack and be aggressive to score more goals.”

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