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Afif bags hat-trick of penalties to help Qatar retain Asian Cup title
Published on: Sunday, February 11, 2024
By: Bernama
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Afif bags hat-trick of penalties to help Qatar retain Asian Cup title
Qatar players celebrate their victory. - Bernama
LUSAIL: Hotshot Akram Afif scored a hat-trick of penalties to inspire Qatar to a 3-1 win over Jordan in controversial fashion in the 2023 Asian Cup final at the Lusail Stadium here tonight.

The win allowed Qatar to become only the fifth team to defend the title since its inception in 1956, joining the likes of South Korea in the 1956 and 1960 editions; Iran (1968, 1972 and 1976); Saudi Arabia (1984 and 1988) and Japan (2000 and 2004).

Afif scored the first two of his three penalties by planting his right-footed shots to the bottom left corner in the 22nd and 73rd minutes before nailing his third with a right-footed shot to the bottom right corner in injury time (90th+5).

Yazan Al Naimat had made it 1-1 in the 66th minute with a left-footed shot from the centre of the box after receiving a cross from Ehsan Haddad.

Qatar, led by coach Marquez Lopez, started brightly and came close to opening the score after just 12 minutes when Almoez Ali, upon receiving a raking pass from Hassan Al-Haydos, had only the goalkeeper to beat in the penalty box but was thwarted by Salem Al-Ajalin.

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