Asian Cup organizers review UAE complaint on Qatar players

Bora Milutinovic

Asian Cup: UAE questions eligibility of two Qatar players before final

Villarreal's Akram Afif also managed to get his name in the history books after he provided another assist for Hatem's goal and in the process has beaten the current record of 10 for the most assists at the Asian Cup.

The national team beat the four-time champions 3-1 at Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates.

The strong attacking display was a reflection of Qatar's remarkable run over the last month in the United Arab Emirates, scoring 19 goals and conceding only once in winning all seven games. We scored a goal but couldn't recover from the two first-half goals.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan congratulated Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani for winning the Asian Cup after beating four-time champion Japan on Friday.

"I don't want to see any stupid things, especially after the game, because we are representing Asia", Yoshida said in English at a January 31 news conference, touching on the fact that the February 1 final will be broadcast internationally. "It's a great day for me and the players and the country", Sanchez said.

But moments later Afif ended Japan's resistance with a cheeky dink from the penalty spot to complete a fairytale triumph for Qatar and trigger wild scenes among the players and coaching staff.

Felix Sanchez, the Qatari head coach, has been repeatedly asked questions about diplomatic matters.

Qatar survived a wobble at two-nil when Takumi Minamino pulled one back on 69 minutes, only for Uzbek referee Ravshan Irmatov to award the Maroons a penalty on video review for a handball by Japan captain Maya Yoshida.

One of them, Almoez Ali, scored the opening goal against Japan in the 12th minute with an audacious overhead kick. I'm very happy for the players and all the people in Qatar who supported us from the beginning. In the second half, we had to defend a lot because obviously they want to win the title as well. He works for the team, he pressures the centre-backs.

In another interview, Sanchez shared his belief in the young players by saying that they "set a tune too hard for any of their rivals to match in the games".

Since the side depends on counters to score, it was imperative that they make the most of whatever possession they had. This mark of respect is custom in Japan, as seen during last summer's World Cup, when fans cleaned up the stands, picking up every cup and every container.

Qatar will also take part in the Copa America this year, having been invited to the South American tournament along with Japan. Qatar are in the same group as Lionel Messi's Argentina for the June-July tournament in Brazil.

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