Japan, the four-time AFC Asian Cup Champions, have a major shock at the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi as the underdogs of the game; Qatar claimed their first ever major footballing honor.
Impressive goals from Almoez Ali, Abdulaziz Hatem, and Akram Atif did the job for the Maroons in the final who did an overall good job of 19 goals scored and just one conceded in the tournament. Although Japan fought until the last second, enjoying the large chunk of possession and attacks, they lacked the luck factor in the final third of the pitch.
Japan missed the best start too as star striker Yuyo Osako missed with his first attempt in the fourth minute. Qatar’s Almoez Ali scored after 12 minutes scripting his own page in the annals of the Asian Cup football as the highest ever top scorer at a tournament. The Sudan-born Ali’s representation of Qatar was in question and the allegations were dismissed by Asian Football Confederation only a few hours before kickoff.
Qataris made an emphatic statement ahead of their hosting 2022 World Cup, with a 27th-minute strike from Abdulaziz Hatem and a late Akram Afif penalty. In the end, the Samurai Blue lost 3-1 to worthy Qatar in the biggest Asian Cup tournament.