Coach Bruno Metsu believes the AFC Asian Cup has now seen the real Qatar after the tournament hosts beat China PR 2-0 at Khalifa Stadium today to keep alive their hopes of reaching the quarter-finals.
Yusef Ahmed was the star of the show as the striker scored a spectacular goal in the 27th minute to give his side the lead before adding a second with an incisive strike just before half-time.
Qatar's first win of the tournament means they have three points in Group A, three behind Uzbekistan and level on points with China PR. Consequently there is all to play for in their final group game against Kuwait on Sunday, and Metsu feels another performance like the one against China PR will send them through to the last eight.
"We had to show the true face of our side and the players showed what we are capable of tonight," said the Frenchman. "I'm proud with all what they showed and happy with this performance. I hope that we can have a similar display in next match against Kuwait so that we can carry on in the competition and advance to the knockout stage."
Metsu also reserved praise for goalscoring hero Ahmed, adding: "Yusef didn't play well with Al Sadd at the start of the season, but when we had a preparatory camp, he featured in the Qatar Stars Cup and had a good performance. That's why we called him up and I believe that he has introduced himself well to the national team and he deserves to be with us."
China PR coach Gao Hongbo feels his side need to become more ruthless in the final third if they are to remain in the tournament, but accepted the defeat was a valuable learning experience for his players.
"Our team didn't do very well in the attack," he said. "Qatar scored their two goals in the first half and we didn't put them under enough pressure so they organised their defence as the pressure was not big. We lost the game but losing is a part of life and I think we can do better in the next game, which is the most important game for us."