Cyprus Mail

Qatar retain Asian Cup thanks to Afif’s penalty hat-trick

afc asian cup final jordan v qatar
Qatar's Akram Afif celebrates after winning the Asian Cup final against Jordan

Qatar successfully defended their Asian Cup crown after beating Jordan 3-1 on Saturday at Lusail Stadium where Akram Afif converted three penalties to become the tournament’s top scorer as the hosts won their continental second title.

Jordan were playing in their first Asian Cup final and seeking their first major trophy, but it was Qatar who prevailed in front of 86,492 fans including Qatar’s ruler Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and FIFA president Gianni Infantino.

Qatar took the lead in the 20th minute when Afif won a penalty as he tried to skip past Abdallah Nasib and the forward stepped up to find the bottom corner of the net.

Jordan equalised midway through the second half when Yazan Al-Naimat controlled a cross with a sublime first touch, evading his marker to fire home for his fourth goal of the tournament.

Parity lasted only six minutes, however, as Qatar won another penalty after a VAR check for a trip by Mahmoud Al-Mardi and Afif made no mistake from the spot.

Qatar won a third penalty in added time when Afif was through on goal and brought down by goalkeeper Yazid Abu Layla, with the forward stepping up to put the game out of reach for Jordan.

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