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Hosts Qatar Triumph in Asian Cup Opener Against Lebanon

DALL·E 2024 01 14 16.07.34 A dynamic and exciting football match scene between Qatar and Lebanon at the Lusail Stadium showcasing players in action on the field. The stadium is

DOHA: Qatar’s Dynamic Start at the Asian Cup 2024

In a remarkable display of skill and strategy, Qatar, the defending champions and hosts, commenced their Asian Cup journey with an emphatic 3-0 victory against Lebanon. This impressive performance took place in the opening match of the AFC Qatar 2023 Asian Cup at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail on January 12, 2024.

A Game of Highs and Lows

The match, which lacked the dramatic flair of previous encounters, saw the Qatari team dominate throughout, leading to some spectators departing as early as half-time. The game’s pivotal moments unfolded as follows:

  • First Half: Akram Afif, a key player for Qatar, broke the deadlock with a stunning shot right before half-time, setting the stage for Qatar’s dominance.
  • Second Half: The Qatari team increased their intensity, with Almoez Ali doubling the lead post-break and Afif securing a late third goal.
  • Stadium Atmosphere: Over 80,000 fans initially filled the Lusail Stadium, a significant venue where Argentina had triumphed over France in the World Cup final a year prior. However, by the final whistle, the stadium witnessed swathes of empty seats.

Qatar’s journey to this victory is notable, considering their performance at the 2019 Asian Cup, where they stunned Japan in the final and their recent World Cup campaign, where they exited in the first round.

Almoez Ali, remembered for his record nine goals in the 2019 Asian Cup, displayed his prowess yet again, though an early goal was disallowed due to offside. Afif, another prominent figure from Qatar’s 2019 victory, showcased his talent, initially hitting the crossbar and later scoring a goal.

Looking Ahead

Qatar’s next challenge in the tournament will be against Tajikistan, with China also in Group A. The team, under the new guidance of coach Tintin Marquez, who replaced Carlos Queiroz last month, is looking robust and confident.

Upcoming Matches

The Asian Cup action continues with Australia facing India, China playing Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan going up against Syria.

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