Qatar stun Japan 3-1 in final to win first Asian Cup

Almoez Ali scoring with an overhead kick in the 12th minute to give Qatar the lead against Japan in yesterday's Asian Cup final at the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi. His goal bettered Iranian Ali Daei's 1996 tally of eight goals at a single
PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Almoez Ali scoring with an overhead kick in the 12th minute to give Qatar the lead against Japan in yesterday's Asian Cup final at the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi. His goal bettered Iranian Ali Daei's 1996 tally of eight goals at a single continental championship.

Qatar, hosts of the 2022 World Cup, won their first major honour in international football when they stunned four-time champions Japan 3-1. The Sudan-born 22-year-old Ali and his teammate Bassam Al-Rawi were the subject of a protest by the UAE Football Association over their eligibility to represent Qatar, but this was dismissed by the Asian Football Confederation hours before the kick-off. Midfielder Abdulaziz Hatem doubled the lead in the 27th minute before Takumi Minamino pulled one back in the 69th minute to set up a grandstand finish. The Qataris sealed victory in the 83rd minute when Akram Afif converted a penalty after Japanese captain Maya Yoshida handled the ball in the area.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 02, 2019, with the headline 'Qatar stun Japan 3-1 in final to win first Asian Cup'. Print Edition | Subscribe