‘Spanish Qatar’ will play the final of the Asian Cup against Jordan this Saturday. Two footballers with a past in Spain, Almoez Ali and Akram Afif were the heroes of a host team that came back from Iran in a lively semi-final at the level of the major national team tournament. a luxury. And what was the end of the game? Iran almost equalized (Jahanbakhsh’s post) and goalkeeper Barsham made a save.
Almoez Ali, the scorer of Qatar’s final victory, only played for Cultural Leonesa for a few months in 2016. His goal in the 82nd minute was not without controversy as he was in a very low irregular position. The second image of this Qatar finalist, because of his quirky looks and his energy in every action, is of Akram Afif. The forward played in Spain (Sevilla and Villarreal youth teams) and played eleven games with the Sporting de Gijón shirt in 2016. Another hero of this ‘Spanish Qatar’. Afif scored his fifth goal in this Asian Cup to take the host nation to their second consecutive final. Qatar won over Iran on the back of good football and the unconditional support of 45,000 spectators present at Doha’s Al Thumama Stadium. Jackpot for Tintin Marquez and Luis Garcia.
Both Spanish coaches Tintin Márquez and Luis García managed in record time to revive Qatar, which had disappointed in the previous World Cup and subsequent poor results under Carlos Queiroz. The arrival of the Spanish coach in charge has changed the face of Qatar who feared the worst due to the responsibility of falling again at the first opportunity in another tournament. That fear was there, but they have found a great path and are likely to repeat the title they achieved in 2019. Relatively surprising as they managed to defeat Iran, one of the bogeymen of the tournament.
Azmoun shook the whole of Qatar very early (4 minutes). His overhead kick beat home goalkeeper Barsham and ruined the game plan. The wake-up call was good for Qatar as they shook off their shackles and managed to turn the score around with great pride in the first half. In the 17th minute, Abdussallam, assisted by Afif, and before the break Afif himself embarrassed the Iranians.
But Taremi, Azmoun and company never gave up. They shed every last drop of sweat in search of a draw and even a win. As soon as he returned from the locker room, VAR gave him a chance to equalize with a penalty. 2-2 Which didn’t stop the madness of the match one bit. There were chances for both teams, but ultimately Almoez Ali was ruled out for offside to seal his place in Qatar history. 13 minutes of extra time, which eventually ended at 17 minutes, made it clear that destiny wanted Qatar to reach the final. Iran was close to it, but between the stops at Post and Barsham, they remained on the sidelines.