In the third matchday of group H in the double qualifiers for Qatar 2022 and China 2023, Lebanon faced Turkmenistan at Camille Chamoun stadium.
A header by the eventual Man of the Match Hilal El Helwe and a shot by Nader Matar saw Lebanon take the 3 points away from their guests.
After the game, both managers spoke to the press and shared their views about the game.
Ante Mise started by assuring the press about the situation of Wahyt Orazsahedow, the number 9 who was subbed off due to injury in the first half.
He went on to congratulate Lebanon on their win then praised his players by saying they played a good game and that they continue to evolve after each game. To the Croatian coach, this loss is due to bad luck and other factors on the pitch that he didn’t specify.
Answering a question about Maatouk, the Turkmenistan coach said that the Lebanese captain didn’t play well.
FaLebanon asked coach Ante if he still believes he can go through to the third round, he was assertive of his chances and then explained that his believes come from how he sees his players are playing and training.
Liviu Ciobotariu walked into the press conference accompanied by Hilal El Helwe. The Romanian coach started his briefing by congratulating the Lebanese players who played with heart according to him also he thanked the Lebanese crowd that came to the stadium. He was happy that they left the stadium happily.
According to the coach, it is a very important win in order to qualify for third round. Then he reminded the journalists that this was the first game for Lebanon at home since a year and a half.
The Lebanese coach then went more into details about the game. The game came as he predicted, a difficult game against a very organized team. He did admit that the Lebanon got bit lucky at some point but he liked a lot the grit and the will of the team, especially after the Turkmenistani goal.
In what concerns Sri Lanka, the coach announced that Mohamad Haidar is going to be changed due to him accumulating two yellow cards. A shortlist has already been prepared containing 3 forward midfielders to replace him.
Coach Liviu replied to a question about the team not playing good football on the pitch by saying that we must not forget that the players were under a lot of pressure because had we dropped points, we will be out of the race for the third round. Now all I care for is the 3 points, it will need time to mix winning games and good football.
The coach of the Lebanese team defended Abdallah Aish after his first international cap saying it isn’t easy to play perfectly today as the whole team was under pressure. He admitted that he already likes Aish a lot and that he started with him because he suited better his tactics for this game.
Hussein Monzer will be part of the future of Lebanon, coach Liviu told FaLebanon , alongside Hussein Zein, Kdouh and Rizk. He did go through some times he had doubts about his actions in the game but overall he played very good and executed everything I asked from him. He is still 22 years old and needs to be encouraged.
FaLebanon then asked if the coach thinks Hassan Maatouk affected by the thought that he needs a goal to become the all-time top scorer of the national team, he then answered negatively as he sees Maatouk a very good player with a lot of grit.
Coach Liviu then ended his questions session with FaLebaon answering a question about the possibility of seeing players like Hijazi against Sri Lanka. The coach affirmed that all 23 players have a chance to play, he doesn’t call up players just to complete a namesheet. All players are equal to me, he said.
In his turn, Hilal El Helwe spoke to the press about the game. He admitted it was a very hard game against a good team who are great physically. The players listened to the coach who told them how to attack and defend correctly against this team.
Hilal saw a team who pressed very well, which was missing in the game against North Korea. The striker thought that the game would’ve been easier had the team made it 2-0 but he liked the response the team had after the equalizer and eventually Lebanon won.
FaLebanon asked Hilal about his future at his current club SV Meppen 1912. He went on about his difficult start at the club due to injury but he overcame it and now waiting for his chance to play. He talks regularly with the coach and assured him he will have his chance soon.