Akram Afif scored a hat trick of penalties to safe back-to-back Asian Cup titles for Qatar in a 3-1 win in opposition to Jordan on Saturday.
The ahead struck within the first half of the ultimate after which twice after the break at Lusail Stadium to complete because the event’s main scorer with eight targets.
Yazan Al Naimat had leveled the sport within the second half, however Qatar was awarded two penalties on video evaluation and Afif confirmed no nerves to transform on each events.
Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe had lit up this spectacular stadium on the World Cup, and now it was Afif’s flip, together with his targets in entrance of greater than 86,000 followers crowning his excellent event.
Qatar grew to become the primary back-to-back winner since Japan in 2000 and 2004. It’s the fifth nation to efficiently defend the title, although Iran received it thrice in a row from 1968 to 1976.
Qatar redeemed itself after unhealthy World Cup participation
However regardless of being defending champion, this represented an surprising triumph for a nation that endured a depressing World Cup on residence soil in 2022 when exiting the event after three straight defeats within the group stage.
Spanish coach Mrquez Lpez had solely been employed in December and Qatar was crushed 2-1 by Jordan in a pleasant in January.
Preparations have been hardly best, nevertheless it did not take lengthy for Qatar to point out its credentials as potential champions once more after reeling off a 100% profitable document within the group levels, with standout performances from Afif.
Afif received and transformed a penalty within the twenty second minute Saturday, however Jordan – taking part in in its first Asian Cup remaining – was again on stage phrases when Al Naimat rifled residence from contained in the field within the 67th.
At that time, Jordan had been on high.
It was behind once more, nonetheless, when Ismaeel Mohammad was introduced down by Mahmoud Al Mardi.
It took a video evaluation earlier than referee Ma Ning pointed to the spot – however when he did, once more Afif delivered by firing into the left hand nook.
Within the fifth minute of stoppage time Afif accomplished his hat trick after he was fouled by Jordan goalkeeper Yazeed Abulaila.
Once more it took a video evaluation to award the spot kick. Once more Afif transformed.