Qatar v Bahrain: Belmadi turns focus to World Cup
Under-fire coach Djamel Belmadi will use Qatar's final Asian Cup fixture against Bahrain as preparation for the 2018 World Cup.
Monday's Group C clash at ANZ Stadium in Sydney is a dead rubber with both Qatar and Bahrain still searching for their first wins of the tournament.
What promised so much, proved to be anti-climatic for Gulf Cup champions Qatar, who bowed out of the Asian Cup with consecutive defeats to United Arab Emirates (4-1) and Iran (1-0).
Qatar's failure has heaped pressure on Belmadi, who is facing an uncertain future despite leading the nation to their third Gulf Cup title in November.
Despite Qatar's group-stage exit, the Algerian boss still has faith in his group of players with the World Cup - four years away - next on the horizon.
"We wanted really to qualify at least for the second round ... but I still believe in this group," said Belmadi.
"There are a lot of young players, they have quality and if we take care of them we can have a better team, especially for the next qualification for the World Cup."
Belmadi added: "The experience is so important. Today our average age was around 24-25 years old. Most of our players hadn't played in a competitive tournament like this.
"They can learn in many ways. First to deal with the environment. As you could see today the stadium was filled with Iran fans. We don't choose to play in this kind of environment in our country."
Bahrain have also endured a forgettable campaign in Australia, though they showed improvement against UAE last time out.
A second-half own goal from captain Mohamed Husain in Canberra sent Bahrain crashing out of the Asian Cup Down Under.
While Bahrain coach Marjan Eid concedes motivation will be a factor, he is desperate for his side to end their campaign on a winning note.
"It will be really difficult to motivate the players for the last game," said Eid.
"Still, we have the ambition to get a good result from the final game and we have to push the players. I hope they can get what they deserve and the three points."
Qatar and Bahrain have played out three consecutive draws, with their most recent clash a goalless stalemate at the Gulf Cup in Saudi Arabia.
The last time Qatar and Bahrain met at the Asian Cup finals, the pair drew 1-1 in 2004.