Coach Bruno Metsu is daring to dream of the impossible after Qatar booked their place in the AFC Asian Cup quarter-finals with a 3-0 win over Kuwait at Khalifa Stadium today.
Both sides had gone into the game with the chance to progress to the last eight, but it was the tournament hosts that effectively ended the game as a contest with two goals inside the first 16 minutes from Bilal Mohammed and Mohamed El Sayed. Kuwait were clearly deflated by those two early blows and rarely threatened to get back into the game before a Fabio Cesar free-kick four minutes from time wrapped up the win.
The victory means they finish second in Group A with six points, one behind Uzbekistan who drew 2-2 with China in the group's other game. And, after achieving the initial target set out for his side, Metsu now has ambitions of guiding Qatar to an historic Asian Cup triumph.
"We will strive to get the trophy and it is our right to dream and as you know I am a big dreamer," said the Frenchman. "For us the Asian Cup starts now. It transfers from a mere accumulation of points to aiming for the trophy.
"We have accomplished our task but our ambitions extend beyond that and it will be a great thing for all fans and players (if we can win the trophy)."
The defeat for Kuwait brings to an end a disappointing tournament for the reigning Gulf Cup of Nations champions, who leave Doha without having picked up as single point. Defeats to China and then Uzbekistan meant Kuwait headed into the game against Qatar with a very slim chance of reaching the quarter-finals.
But they appeared to lack the fight shown by Qatar and coach Goran Tufegdzic felt their first two defeats took their toll on his players.
"After we lost the first match and then lost the second to Uzbekistan it was very difficult for our players," he said. "We did not have concentration and you saw in this match what happened as a result. The spirit of the team after the two goals went down. They lost their energy and power and for sure they lost their spirit when we conceded."