Akram Afif stars with hattrick as Qatar successfully defend title against Jordan

Qatar forward Akram Afif scored a hattrick for Qatar from the penalty spot while Yazan Al Naimat scored the solitary goal for Jordan.

Qatar on Saturday became the first team in a century to successfully defend their AFC Asian Cup title as they beat Jordan 3-1 at the Lusail Stadium in Qatar. Jordan was playing their first-ever AFC Asian Cup final. However, they gave a fair fight to the defending champions. Qatar forward Akram Afif scored a hattrick for Qatar from the penalty spot while Yazan Al Naimat scored the solitary goal for Jordan.

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Jordan were the underdogs coming into the match. However, they showed no signs of nerves against the Asian giants from the start. The game was controlled in the midfield as Jordan looked the brighter of the two. However, Qatar held on to their senses in the opening few minutes and gradually came back into the game.

Qatar received a penalty in the 20th minute when Afif was clipped from behind by Nasib in the box right in front of goal. The VAR ruled in favour of the home team. Afif came up to take the spot kick and made no mistake. Jordan had quite a few attacks of their own could hit only one shot on target till the half-time.

Jordan came back strongly into the second half and scored the equaliser in the 67th minute. A perfect cross from the right landed perfectly for Yazan Al Naimat. The Jordan forward controlled the ball perfectly and buried the ball into the net off of a half-volley. 

However, Jordan’s equaliser lasted only five minutes as Qatar received their second penalty of the night in the 72nd minute. Almardi got in Ismail’s way and tripped him inside the box as Qatar’s attacker was making a run on goal. The VAR intervened again and awarded the spot kick. Afif stepped up to regain Qatar’s lead as the home crowd erupted with joy.

Jordan tried hard to find the second equaliser of the night but Qatar brought all their experience into play. The home team received a third penalty in the dying minutes of the match and Afif converted it with ease, ending Jordan’s resistance.

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