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Qatar Defeats Jordan 3-1 in AFC Asian Cup Final

Xavier Moran

Qatar celebrates its second straight continental title.

The Asian Football Cup (AFC) recently came to an end with plenty of upsets and plenty of goals. Qatar’s journey into the finals was one that was hard-fought and impressive. The team swept the group stage without being scored on in all three games. Once the round of 16 began, the games started to get more difficult as Qatar knocked out Palestine and then Uzbekistan in a penalty shootout. Qatar then had a close game with Iran before scoring the winning goal to make it 3-2 and continuing their journey to their second AFC finals match in a row. Jordan had a much different path to the finals. They began the tournament with a rocky start. In the group stage, they barely squeezed by with a win against Malaysia and a draw against South Korea. After the group stage, Jordan was feeling strong and ultimately upset Son Heung-Min and the South Korean team in the semi-finals to then meet Qatar in the finals.

The final match started with Qatar controlling most of the possession while getting some solid shots on goal. Jordan had few counterattacks, but the ones they had would almost always result in a strong shot on net. During the 19th minute of the game, Akram Afif was illegally tackled inside the box for a penalty kick for Qatar. He scored with a low and fast paced shot to the left corner, giving Qatar an early lead. After that goal, Jordan adopted an offensive strategy that led to many shots, which proved successful in the second half. Following a brilliant cross, Yazan Al-Naimat scored a full volley for Jordan. However, in the 70th minute, a debatable foul happened again to a Qatar player in Jordans’ goal box. The video assistant referee (VAR) soon confirmed the penalty, and Afif would score another penalty. 20 minutes later, the referee went over to VAR again to review another penalty kick for Qatar. The referee gave a third penalty to Akram Afif, where he banked it into the bottom right corner for a hat trick. By this point, the Jordanese fans and team had given up hope. The next five minutes of the game were spent delaying. 

On Saturday, February 10th, Qatar became the first-ever team to win back-to-back Asian Cups after defeating Jordan 3-1. Last FIFA World Cup, Qatar did not make it past the group stage, but now, this two-time Asian-Championship team will have to prove their talent to the world in the 2026 World Cup in the Americas.


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