10 new records set at the 2023 Asian Cup

By Hieu Luong   February 14, 2024 | 03:33 pm PT
The 2023 AFC Asian Cup is regarded as one of the best editions in the tournament’s 68-year history with many new records being set.
10 new records set at the 2023 Asian Cup

This year's champion Qatar become the fifth team to successfully defend their Asian Cup title, after South Korea (1956, 1960), Saudi Arabia (1984, 1988), Japan (2000, 2004), and Iran (1968, 1972, 1976).

Regarding the number of titles, Qatar are now level with South Korea and only behind Saudi Arabia and Iran, with three titles each, and four-time champion Japan. Qatar have the chance to match Iran’s record of winning three consecutive tournaments at the 2027 Asian Cup in Saudi Arabia.

10 new records set at the 2023 Asian Cup

Jordan (pictured) are the only team to advance to the final after finishing third of their group. The surprise finalist was third of Group E after Bahrain and South Korea. While the former was ousted by Japan in the round of 16, the latter fell defeat to Jordan in the semifinal.

Some other surprise results include Tajikistan making the quarterfinal in their Asian Cup debut after eliminating the UAE on penalty in the round of 16.

Palestine, Indonesia, and Syria also made it past the group stages for the first time.

10 new records set at the 2023 Asian Cup

Qatar are the only team to win all three individual awards, namely the Most Valuable Player, Top Goalscorer, and Best Goalkeeper, in two consecutive tournaments in 2019 and 2023.

Akram Afif (2nd, L) is named as the 2023 Asian Cup Most Valuable Player and Top Goalscorer, while Meshaal Barsham (3rd, L) takes the Best Goalkeeper honor.

In 2019, Almoez Ali won the two same awards as Afif, and Saad Al-Sheeb was the Best Goalkeeper.

10 new records set at the 2023 Asian Cup

Qatar are the first team to be awarded three penalties in the final, making Akram Afif the first player to score three penalty goals as well as a hattrick in the final.

They have also scored in 15 Asian Cup matches in a row and are chasing South Korea’s (16) and Japan’s (22) records.

10 new records set at the 2023 Asian Cup

The four goals scored in the final took the 2023 Asian Cup's tally to 132 after 51 matches (an average of 2.59 goals per game), which is the most in history, surpassing 2019’s total of 130 goals.

Qatar found the net 14 times, followed by Jordan (13), Iran and Japan (12), and South Korea (11). Midfielder Akram Afif is the most prolific goalscorer with 8 goals, while Iraq's Aymen Hussein (number 3) has 6, Japan’s Ayase Ueda and Jordan’s Yazan Al Naimat have 4 each.

10 new records set at the 2023 Asian Cup

Akram Afif is the first player to have over 10 goal contributions in two Asian Cup tournaments. This year's MVP had 8 goals and 3 assists in 2023 and 1 goal and 10 assists in 2019.

The 1996-born midfielder have contributed 22 goals, accounting for 67% of Qatar’s total Asian Cup goals since 2019. He scored from the penalty spot in both the 2019 and 2023 finals.

10 new records set at the 2023 Asian Cup

The 2023 Asian Cup saw the most penalties scored with 20 goals in 51 matches, an average of 0.39 penalty per game. The previous record was held by the 2019 tournament in the UAE with 15 penalties.

The 2023 record was set thanks in part to the use of VAR in all matches. Host Qatar scored 4 goals from the spot, while Iran and South Korea each scored 3.

10 new records set at the 2023 Asian Cup

Japan are the only team to have advanced to the quarterfinal for nine tournaments in a row. They lost 1-2 to Iran in this year’s quarterfinal (pictured). Since 1992, Japan have won the title four times (1992, 2000, 2004, 2011), finished second once (2019), and made it to the semifinal once (2007) and the quarterfinal three times (1996, 2015, 2023).

Iran and South Korea have had eight consecutive quarterfinal appearances since 1996. Iraq had six quarterfinal appearances from 1996 to 2015, while Australia have managed to reach this stage of the competition in all 5 Asian Cup tournaments they have been in since 2007.

10 new records set at the 2023 Asian Cup

Iran (white) are the only team to lose seven semifinals in 1980, 1984, 1988, 1996, 2004, 2019, and 2023. They lost 0-3 to Japan four years ago and 2-3 to Qatar this year.

Losing four semifinals are South Korea (1964, 2000, 2007, 2011) and China (1976, 1988, 1992, 2000).

10 new records set at the 2023 Asian Cup

The 2023 Asian Cup's total audiences in stadiums is 1,509,496, making is the most attended tournament in history and breaking the 2004 Asian Cup in China’s record of 1.04 million. The nine host stadiums have an average attendance rate of 73% - a 13% increase compared to 2004.

Both taking place at the Lusail Stadium, the final between Qatar and Jordan welcomed the highest number of spectators at 86,492, while the opener between Qatar and Lebannon was a close second with 82,490 spectators.

The highest-attended Asian Cup match on record is the final between Iran and Kuwait in 1976, drawing 112,000 spectators.

Photos by AFC, Reuters

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