Qatar boss Felix Sanchez says his side must operate on a game-by-game basis after a 6-0 win over North Korea secured progression to the Asian Cup last 16.
Almoez Ali scored four as Qatar put in a rampant display on Sunday to move top of Group E, and will now take on Saudi Arabia to decide who claims pole position.
However, Sanchez insists that the World Cup 2022 hosts will not get ahead of themselves as they prepare to head into the knockout stages.
“As we were saying from the beginning, we are planning game by game,” Sanchez told a news conference.
“With this result we are qualified for the next round which was one of our first objectives. Now we have to plan for the next one which is going to be very difficult.
“We will try to have a good performance, but now it’s time to give time to the players to enjoy this important result.
“We’re going to try to plan the next game with the right idea to have another good performance. We’re very proud of the players and their attitude.”
Ali now leads the scoring charts at the tournament, and his four goals were all set up by Akram Hassan Afif, and Sanchez lauded the relationship between the two 22-year-olds.
“They are playing together for the last seven years, close to each other, and the understanding they have is very good,” Sanchez added.
“They know that when one gets the ball, the movement the others are going to do.
“They were especially effective, and that’s what we need for a player in those positions.”
— #AsianCup2019 (@afcasiancup) January 13, 2019
North Korea coach Kim Yong-jun, meanwhile, believes his side could not recover from conceding in the opening stages, with Ali having netted a double by the 11th minute.
“We let Qatar score too early. That first goal made the players very nervous, and mentally we could not get used to the game,” he told a news conference.
“We have to learn lessons from the first two games, but forget the defeats and we still can create a chance to get to the next round.”
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