The Maroons were eliminated from the Gold Cup after witnessing a 4-0 loss against Panama in the quarter-finals.
Qatar’s national football team technical director said the challenging Gold Cup campaign helped the team improve despite the 4-0 thrashing by Panama in the quarter-finals, setting the World Cup qualifiers and Asian Cup campaign as fresh priorities for Al Annabi.
Speaking at a press conference after the Al Annabi’s elimination, Tim Cahill voiced his pride in the squad as they learned from each match at the CONCACAF tournament.
“I feel proud of the way we have worked during the last period, as we faced various styles at different levels, starting from Haiti and Honduras, then Mexico. We overcame a lot of challenges that has helped us learn more about football and improve as a team,” said the team tech.
Cahill went on to note that the absence of coach Carlos Queiroz and six players proved to be a disadvantage to the team at the Panama match.
“Football is sometimes very difficult, especially when the national team goes into a match (Panama) in the absence of the coach and assistant coach due to suspension, and I had to take their place in the technical area as a coach, although this is not my task. This was besides the absence of six players together,” Cahill added.
“Of course, these are not excuses as the lack of focus resulted in we conceding three goals (in the 2nd half), but in general, the players made all their efforts, and no one has failed to do their best for the sake of the national team,” Cahill stated.
The former Australian player stressed that the team’s upcoming 2026 World Cup qualifiers and the Asian Cup are now a priority for the Maroons.
“We are still preparing the team and playing with a clear style and strategy and we have expected benefits represented in the Asian Cup and the 2026 World Cup qualifiers.”
Just ahead of their Gold Cup campaign, Qatar climbed three places in the newly-released FIFA world rankings, finishing 58th in June to become the sixth-best team in the Arab world and Asia.
A new generation of footballers represents the Qatari team, now under the guidance of Coach Queiroz.
Upon his appointment, the new head coach said it was an “incredible honour and responsibility” to take on his new position after previously managing Iran’s national team.
“I feel incredible honour and responsibility to manage the National Team of Qatar. I would like to express my gratitude for their trust in me. At the same time, this challenge is also a tribute to my appreciation for everything football has provided me over these 40 years,” said Queiroz.
“I refer to unique human, social, and cultural experiences that I was able to go through,” Queiroz added.
The Qatar national team is now set to take on the World Cup qualifiers campaign this coming November, with the Asian Cup campaign next January.