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Qatar beat Jordan to retain Asian Cup


Qatar beat Jordan to retain Asian Cup

Qatar successfully defended their Asian Cup crown after beating Jordan 3-1 on Saturday (Feb 10) at Lusail Stadium where Akram Afif converted three penalties as the hosts won their second continental title.

Akram Afif scored a hat-trick of penalties as Qatar beat Jordan 3-1 in the Asian Cup final at Lusail Stadium. The result meant hosts Qatar became the fifth team to win back-to-back Asian titles, having also triumphed in 2019.

Yazan Al-Naimat's second-half goal had levelled matters after Afif had dispatched a first-half penalty.

However, Afif scored twice more from the spot in the closing stages after video assistant referee checks to finish the tournament with eight goals.

Jordan had been aiming to win the Asian Cup for the first time having stunned South Korea 2-0 in the semi-finals to reach their first final.

But Qatar were awarded their first spot-kick of the game when Afif was felled in the box by Abdallah Nasib after running on to Lucas Mendes' pass.

Afif found the bottom corner to cap a terrific first-half display, but Jordan improved in the second period and deservedly restored parity when Ihsan Haddad's pass was collected in his stride by Yazan Al-Naimat, who skipped away from his marker before rifling a vicious drive past goalkeeper Meshaal Barsham.

Jordan were on level terms for only six minutes, however, Afif converting his second penalty of the game against the run of play after Ismaeel Mohammad was fouled by Mahmoud Al-Mardi.

Jordan fans' hopes were raised when 13 minutes of additional time were indicated by the fourth official, but the video assistant referee awarded Qatar their third penalty of contest when Afif was felled by goalkeeper Yazeed Abulaila after beating Jordan's offside trap.

Afif kept his composure once again to spark jubilant scenes among the majority of fans inside Lusail Stadium, as Qatar became the first team to defend their Asian Cup crown since Japan in 2004.

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