QATAR IN AFC ASIAN CUP FINAL AFTER THRASHING UAE 4-0
29 Jan 2019, General
Abu Dhabi, 29 January 2019. Qatar writes football history by reaching their first ever AFC Asian Cup final after defeating the United Arab Emirates 4-0 in the semi-final on Tuesday evening.
In the first AFC Asian Cup-semifinal in Qatar’s football history, seven Aspire Academy graduates were featured in Felix Sanchez’s starting eleven: Goalkeeper Saad Al Sheeb, defenders Tarek Salman and Abdelkarim Hassan, midfielders Assim Madibo and Salem Al Hajri, as well as strikers Akram Afif and Almoez Ali. With attacker Ahmed Alaaeldin and defender Tameem Al-Muhaza another two Aspire graduates came on in the second half.
Qatar started well into the game, showing from the beginning that had gained a lot of self-confidence after the recent oustanding results. Qatar put their opponent under a lot of pressure, especially when it came to start fast counter attacks, the Maroons’ offense line showed why they had been so successful in this tournament: One of these fast attacks led to the 1-0 for Qatar, when Boualem Khoukhi’s shot surprised UAE goalkeeper Khalid Essa (22’). However, there were no discussion about Qatar’s second goal when topscorer Almoez Ali scored the 2-0 with a screamer (37’).
After the half-time, UAE tried everything to get back into the game, but once again Saad Al Sheeb was unbeatable and when Qatar’s captain Hassan Al-Haydos scored the 3-0 (80’) and substitute Hamid Ismail (90'+4) made the fourth Qatari goal, there was no doubt that the Maroons were heading to their first ever AFC Asian Cup final, where they are going to face Japan on Friday (5pm).