AWARDS FOR ASPIRE GRADUATES ALMOEZ ALI, SAAD AL SHEEB AND AKRAM AFIF
02 Feb 2019, General
Abu Dhabi, 1 February 2019. After winning the 2019 AFC Asian Cup final, three players of Qatar received individual awards: Goalkeeper Saad Al Sheeb and strikers Almoez Ali and Akram Afif.
Felix Sanchez's team sailed through the group stage and knockout rounds with a perfect record, and did not concede a goal until the second-half in the final to seal the country's first major trophy. It was no surprise that Qatar’s keeper Saad Al Sheeb, who used to be a student-athlete of Aspire Academy, received the award for being the tournaments “Best Goalkeeper”.
The Qataris ended the campaign with seven straight victories, scoring 19 goals. Nine of them can be credited to Aspire Academy-graduate and Qatar striker Almoez Ali: He emerged as the star man with an unprecedented goal tally, breaking a 23-year-old record held by Ali Daei of IR Iran previously with 8 goals in the 1996 edition of the AFC Asian Cup. After the final whistle, Almoez Ali was awarded as “Top Goalscorer” and “Most Valuable Player” of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.
His teammate Akram Afif, who scored his first tournament goal in the final and assisted the other two Qatari goals against Japan was voted “Man-of-the-Match”. In total, Aspire-graduate Afif had 10 assists over the whole tournament.