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AFC Asian Cup

AFC Asian Cup 2023 updated knockout stage bracket: Hosts Qatar edge past Iran in semis

Published at :February 7, 2024 at 11:43 PM
Modified at :February 7, 2024 at 11:43 PM
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(Courtesy : AFC)

Rutvij Joshi

Defending champions Qatar will lock horns with Jordan in the finale.

In a thrilling encounter, Qatar emerged victorious over Iran in a captivating semifinal match of the AFC Asian Cup 2023, securing a hard-fought 3-2 win in a five-goal thriller. The game was a testament to the skill and determination of both teams, providing fans with an enthralling spectacle of football.

Iran drew first blood early in the match, with Sardar Azmoun finding the back of the net in the fourth minute to give his team an early lead. However, Qatar responded swiftly, as midfielder Gaber leveled the score in the 17th minute, showcasing their resilience and attacking prowess. The momentum swung in Qatar’s favor just before halftime, with star striker Akram Afif scoring in the 43rd minute to put his team ahead.

The second half saw both teams continue to battle fiercely, with Iran equalizing from the penalty spot through Jahanbaksh in the 51st minute. However, Qatar refused to be deterred and Almoez Ali, the Qatari stalwart, rose to the occasion, scoring in the 82nd minute to seal the victory for his team and secure their place in the final.

The win offered Qatar the opportunity to defend their title at home against Jordan in what promises to be an electrifying final showdown.

Meanwhile, in the first semifinal, Jordan produced a stunning display of determination and tactical prowess to secure a historic 2-0 win over South Korea. The victory marked a significant milestone for Jordan, as they qualified for the AFC Asian Cup final for the first time in their history, solidifying their status as dark horses in the tournament.

As the finale unfolds at magnificent Lusail stadium, the AFC Asian Cup continues to serve as a platform for showcasing riveting football battles, with each match contributing to the tapestry of unpredictability and drama in the competition. Football enthusiasts worldwide eagerly anticipated the climax of the tournament, as only two teams would stand on the brink of glory.

The passion and excellence displayed by the participating teams further elevated the excitement surrounding the beautiful game, underscoring its significance as an unifying force that captivates audiences around the world.

The journey towards crowning AFC Asian Cup 2023 champion continues with the final match poised to be a thrilling conclusion to an unforgettable tournament. As football enthusiasts await the final showdown between Qatar and Jordan, anticipation reached it’s ultimate climax, with the stage set for an epic battle to determine the ultimate champion of Asian football.

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