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Qatar defeats Japan 3-1 to win Asian Cup

Discussion in 'Asian' started by sport maestro, Feb 1, 2019.

  1. sport maestro

    sport maestro Active Member

    Qatar secured the biggest soccer prize in its history on Friday, beating the tournament favorite and four-time champion Japan 3-1 in the Asian Cup final.

    Long scorned for a lack of soccer pedigree Qatar have never made the Asian Cup final in their history. Their previous best before the 2019 tournament was 5th but they were able to pulled off a major surprise to win their first ever continental tournament, the Asian Cup and will enter the 2022 World Cup as the champion of Asia.

    Qatar under the tutelage of Felix Sanchez sailed through the group stage and knockout rounds with a perfect record, they did not concede a goal until the second-half in the final to seal the country's first major trophy.

    Qatar’s run to the final was unexpected the Qataris hadn’t even reached the semifinals before while Japan entered the Asian Cup hotly tipped to win a fifth title.

    The host country, the United Arab Emirates, is among a group of regional rivals that have broken off diplomatic relations with Qatar and are leading a blockade that made it difficult for Qatari fans, officials and even the team itself to get to the tournament.

    The 2022 World Cup hosts were led by 22-year-old striker Almoez Ali, who broke a competition goals record in spectacular fashion as he netted the opener against Japan.

    Coming into the showpiece match, breakout star Almoez had netted eight goals in the finals to tie Iran forward Ali Daei's single-tournament record from the 1996 edition. His whose overhead strike that opened the scoring on Friday at the Zayed Sports City stadium pushed his tournament-record tally to nine goals.

    Just 15 minutes later, another stunning strike followed when Abdelaziz Hatim found the net from 25 yards out but Japan cut the deficit in half in the 69th minute through Takumi Minamino.

    Qatar made certain of the victory with Akram Ali’s 83rd-minute penalty, which was awarded after Japan defender Maya Yoshida was called for a handball after a video review. Akram Hassan Afif stepped up to coolly convert from the spot and put an end to the contest.

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