Hosts Qatar aim for back-to-back Asian Cup titles

Two teams from the Middle East will attempt to make history at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) 2023 Asian Cup Qatar final.

On June 11 at Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, Qatar and Jordan will meet in the final for the tournament title.

The hosts were drawn in Group A of the tournament. They sailed through the group with wins over Tajikistan, China, and Lebanon. In the round of 16, they defeated Palestine (2-1), and in the quarterfinals, they beat Uzbekistan on penalties. Then, in the semifinals, they defeated one of the favorites, Iran, 3-2, to reach the final.

Jordan was in Group E alongside Bahrain, South Korea, and Malaysia. They finished third in the group with one win, one draw and one loss to advance to the knockout stage. They scored two goals in stoppage time in a dramatic win over Iraq in the round of 16, and then defeated ‘surprise’ Tajikistan in the quarterfinals.

And in the quarterfinals, they beat Jürgen Klinsmann’s South Korea 2-0 to reach the final.

Both teams will be looking to make history. Hosts Qatar will be looking to make it two in a row since the 2019 tournament in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Having won their first Asian Cup title in the previous edition, they will be looking to bring home the trophy once again.

“After the semifinal against Iran, the players only had about two days to recover,” said coach Marques Lopez. Rest was very important. I think all the players deserve to play in this final. I think all the players deserved to play in this final,” said Lopez, who remained calm afterward.

With the win over South Korea, Jordan continues to be the best performing team in the Asian Cup. Their previous best result was the quarterfinals, and now they are in the final, looking to win their first title in history.

Jordan coach Hussein Amouta is hungry for a win. “Qatar is the defending champion and a strong opponent. Playing against them is never easy. It will not be easy to win against them. We expect it to be difficult, but we will work as a team to win. We are aiming to exceed expectations.”

Ahead of the final, the AFC highlighted players to watch for both teams. For Qatar, it’s Akram Afif, Almoez Ali, and Hassan Haidos. Afif has five goals and 토토사이트 three assists in the tournament. He is one goal behind Iraq’s Aymen Hussein (six) for the tournament’s top goal scorer. It will be interesting to see if he can become the tournament’s top scorer.

Along with Afif, Ali is Qatar’s key striker, while Al Haidos is a veteran and a link-up player.

Jordan’s key players to watch are Musa Altamari, Yazan Al-Naimat, and Yazan Al-Araab. Altamari and Alnaimat have tasted goal against South Korea before. They are Jordan’s aces.

Al-Tamari and Al-Naimat are Jordan’s aces, while Al-Araab is the main defender, with his height and solid physicality. They have seven interceptions, 29 caused turnovers, and 26 ball-contest wins in five games.

The all-time series between the two teams is 12-7, with Qatar leading with three wins, three draws and two losses. The most recent meeting was in January, when Jordan claimed a 2-1 victory thanks to back-to-back goals from Al-Naimat and Ali Olwan.

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