Qatar advance to Asian Cup final after 3-2 victory over Iran

By Hoang Nguyen    FEB. 7, 2024

Qatar secured their spot in the Asian Cup final to face Jordan, after clinching a 3-2 win against Iran.

Unlike the first semifinal game, Iran and hosts Qatar gave football fans quite a show in the second semifinal. Iran opened the scoring right in the fourth minute with Sardar Azmoun’s bicycle kick.

Qatar’s plan of playing defensively quickly crumbled and the game got exciting really early. After conceding, they pushed forward and equalized in the 17th minute thanks to a lucky goal by Jassem Gaber, whose shot deflected off an Iran player before going in.

After the equalizer, Qatar maintained the pressure on Iran. Their relentless efforts paid of in the 43rd minute when Akram Afif cut inside the box, past a few Iran players and curled it into the far corner. Afif was the hero of Qatar in this game as he assisted the first goal and scored a beauty to take his team ahead.

The second half saw Iran equalizing early with Alireza Jahanbakhsh’s successful penalty in the 51st minute. From this moment, the game continued to get hotter with many minor fouls along with scoring attempts from both side. Iran had a few relevant chances but couldn’t convert and they paid the price as in the 82nd minute, Almoez Ali received the ball in a comfortable position and finished past goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand to get Qatar ahead again.

The injury time of the second time was 13 minutes, but Iran played most of them with 10 men after Shojae Khalilzadeh got a yellow card for fouling Afif and stopped him from an obvious scoring chance. With nothing to lose, Iran still pushed forward and they were close to making a miracle when Alireza Jahanbakhsh’s shot hit the post. However, nearly is nothing and Qatar made it into the final for the second time in a row, where they will face the surprise of this tournament, Jordan.

Asian Cup semifinal: Qatar 3-2 Iran

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