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AFC Asian Cup

AFC Asian Cup 2023: Hosts Qatar pull dramatic win to reach semis

Published at :February 4, 2024 at 1:07 AM
Modified at :February 4, 2024 at 1:07 AM
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(Courtesy : AFC)

Dipro Mukherjee


Qatar to play Iran next on February 7.

Qatar defeated Uzbekistan, in a thrilling football game. Qatar emerged victorious in their home country, Al Rayyan Stadium, becoming a fortress in the process.

Uzbekistan enters the quarter-final of AFC Asian Cup 2023 stage, crisp from impressive performances in the Group stage with an unbeaten stint, including one win against India and two draws against Australia and Syria. Conversely, Qatar joins the party with three wins from all of their three games in the Group stage against Tajikistan, China, and Lebanon, as they eye a second Asian Cup title.

The stadium had an electrifying atmosphere. A throng of Qatari fans welcomed the Uzbekistani players at the Al Bayt. Support for Qatar was unwavering from the first minute of the game onward.

At the spectacular Al Bayt stadium, the Maroons hosted the White Wolves in the AFC Asian Cup Quarter-final on their home turf. As the first half of the game kicked off, both teams exuded confidence and strength with their tactical acumen. Qatar’s Almoez Ali was flagged offside early on, in the 4th minute of the game. 

In the 11th minute, an ambitious attempt from Qatar’s Akram Afif’s left foot was saved in the bottom left corner by Uzbekistan goalkeeper, Utkir Yusupov.  The deadlock was finally broken after Utkir Yusupov put the ball in his net in the 27th minute of the game giving Qatar a 1-0 lead.

The second half saw Uzbekistan making their mark in the game during the 59th minute of the game Odildzhon Khamrobekov’s left-footed attempt went past Qatar goalkeeper Meeshal Barsham. An attempt from Akram Afif during the injury time went past the second post, missing it by inches.

The match ended in a 1-1 draw after the stipulated 90 minutes of play. When an additional 30 minutes failed to yield any winner, the game got dragged into the extra time. As both the teams made their way into the shootout, more of the drama was about to unfold. After a tough battle, Qatar made it through the White Wolves challenge, winning 3-2 on penalties.

Final Score:

Qatar 1-1 Uzbekistan (Qatar won 3-2 on penalties)

Goals:

Utkir Yusupov (OG, 27′), Odildzhon Khamrobekov (59′)

Penalty Shootout Goals:

Qatar: Akram Afif, Sultan Brake, Pedro Miguel

Uzbekistan: Otabek Shukurov, Shakhboz Umarov

Attendance:

30,000+

With just 54% of the ball, Qatar’s determined, tactical, and strategic play produced a historic 3-2 victory on penalties. Interestingly, compared to Uzbekistan, Qatar was able to attempt fewer shots on goal.

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