Timor Leste have succumbed to a narrow 1-0 defeat to UAE after producing a solid performance in their 2018 World Cup and 2019 Asian Cup joint qualifiers campaign on Tuesday.
Despite their loss, the Rising Sun coach Fabio Magrao insisted that he is incredibly proud of the team performance against the higher-ranked opponents at Shah Alam Stadium in Malaysia.
The Brazilian tactician also believes that his team could spring an upset over the third-placed 2015 Asian Cup nation if had a proper and better preparation, which they didn’t get since the opening game against Malaysia last week.
“Everyone had long flights from Brazil and Timor Leste to get here just a day before the first game,” whose team consist of largely of naturalised Brazilians.
“But despite not having good preparation, we made two good games and it felt like two victories, not a draw and a loss.
“The logistics of our team is a problem but that’s not an excuse. We will improve and learn step by step and, with better planning and preparation, we could do something nice,” the 37-year-old coach added.
“Despite lack of preparation, I’m satisfied. If we improved training and preparation, we could pull off a surprise and make life hard for them.”