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AFC Asian Cup

Top 5 AFC Asian Cup finals of all time

Published at :February 10, 2024 at 12:12 PM
Modified at :February 10, 2024 at 12:12 PM
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Yash Pratap Singh


As Jordan get ready to face defending champs Qatar, we look back at the best AFC Asian Cup finals.

The 2023 AFC Asian Cup is all set to unfold its ultimate game as underdogs Jordan will face off against the defending champions and hosts Qatar at the iconic Lusail Stadium on February 10. Jordan sent shockwaves across the globe by reaching their first-ever AFC Asian Cup final.

It has been a tournament full of shocks and magical moments with Jordan playing a key role. As the 2023 AFC Asian Cup gears up to host its final, we take a look at the top five finals in the history of the AFC Asian Cup.

5. Iran 1-0 Kuwait – 1976

The 1976 AFC Asian Cup final between Iran and Kuwait saw Iran become the first and only side till date to have won three consecutive titles. Iran won their first trophy in 1968 before defeating South Korea in penalties in 1972.

The final was played at Iran’s home ground, the Azadi Stadium in Tehran. They managed to defend their crown in front of their home fans as Ali Parvin found the back of the net in the 71st minute and handed the nation their third continental title.

4. Japan 3-1 China – 2004

The 2004 AFC Asian Cup final between two of Asia’s very best sides Japan and China ended in favor of the Samurai Blue at the Workers’ Stadium in Beijing. Japan were then the defending champions and China were the hosts of the tournament. 62,000 people turned up at the stadium making the game the second-highest attended final in the history of the tournament. 

Japan’s Takashi Fukunishi opened the scoring in the 22nd minute before Li Ming equalized for China. However, Japan went on to add two more goals as Koji Nakata and Keiji Tamada found the back of the net and helped their nation win two successive titles.

3. Japan 1-0 Saudi Arabia – 1992

Japan emerged victorious in the 1992 AFC Asian Cup final to lift their maiden continental title and that too on home turf. It was a tight game between hosts Japan and the then two-time defending champions Saudi Arabia.

Japan’s Takuya Takagi scored in the 36th minute and ensured that the Samurai Blue lifted their first-ever Asian title at the Hiroshima Big Arch. Moreover, Japan denied Saudi Arabia the opportunity to win three back-to-back titles as the latter had won the previous two editions.

2. Qatar 3-1 Japan – 2019

Top five AFC Asian Cup finals of all time Qatar 2019
Qatar celebrating their triumph in 2019.

UAE’s Zayed Sports City stadium witnessed one of the most iconic finals in the history of the championship. Qatar reached their first final after a tremendous display throughout the tournament while Japan stared at their record fifth title. Qatar came into the game as favorites and began the final as they were expected to. 

Star striker Almoez Ali opened the scoring in the 12th minute before Abdulaziz Hatem added a second goal. Japan pulled one back as Takumi Minamino scored in the 69th minute, but Akram Afif’s 83rd minute penalty spoiled the party for Japan as Qatar lifted their first AFC Asian Cup.

1. Australia vs South Korea – 2015

Top five AFC Asian Cup finals of all time Australia 2015
Australia with their maiden Asian Cup title. (Courtesy: AFP)

The 2015 AFC Asian Cup final between hosts Australia and two-time champions South Korea is the highest attended final of the competition till date. A record number of 76,385 spectators turned up at the Stadium Australia in Sydney to watch the iconic fixture. Australia finished as the runners up in the previous edition and were ever so motivated to bag their maiden title. 

Massimo Luongo scored the opener in the 45th minute to give Australia the lead at the end of the first half. South Korea kept on pushing and were rewarded with an equalizer when Son Heung-min found the back of the net in the 91st minute. The match went into extra-time where James Troisi’s 105th minute strike handed Australia their first and only AFC Asian Cup title till date.

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