Qatar Clinch Second Consecutive Asian Cup Title with 3-1 Win over Jordan

Qatar Clinch Second Consecutive Asian Cup Title with 3-1 Win over Jordan

Qatar have successfully defended their Asian Cup crown, beating Jordan 3-1 in the final at the Lusail Stadium on Saturday. 

The hosts relied on the brilliance of Akram Afif, who scored a hat-trick of penalties to secure the trophy.

Qatar took the lead in the 22nd minute, when Afif converted the first spot-kick after he was fouled by Jordan’s goalkeeper Amer Shafi. Jordan equalized in the 67th minute, when Yazan Al-Niamat headed in a cross from Musa Al-Tamari, who had a stellar tournament for the debutant finalists.

However, Qatar restored their advantage five minutes later, when Afif scored his second penalty after he was brought down by Jordan’s captain Baha’ Abdel-Rahman. 

Afif completed his hat-trick in stoppage time, when he won and dispatched another penalty after he was tripped by Jordan’s defender Anas Bani Yaseen.

Qatar’s victory marked their second consecutive Asian Cup title, after they won the 2023 edition in Dubai. They became the first team to achieve this feat since Japan in 2000 and 2004. Qatar also extended their unbeaten run in the competition to 14 matches, dating back to 2019.

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Afif, who plays for Al sadd, was the star of the show, as he finished the tournament with eight goals and four assists. He was named the most valuable player of the final and the tournament. He also received the golden boot award for being the top scorer.

Jordan, who were ranked 87th in the world, had a remarkable run to the final, upsetting South Korea 2-0 in the semi-finals. They were the first team from West Asia to reach the final since Iraq in 2007.

The final was attended by a capacity crowd of 80,000 fans, who witnessed a thrilling and historic match. The Asian Cup, which was held in Qatar for the first time, featured 24 teams and 51 matches. The next edition will be held in China in 2027.

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