I can’t put into words how I feel right now. I thank my teammates for believing in me.”꽁머니사이트
Akram Afif took the lead in beating Jordan 3-1 in the final of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup at Lusail Stadium in Doha, Qatar, at 12 p.m. on the 10th (Korea time). He scored hat tricks and scored three goals neatly on penalties, leading his team to a second consecutive loss.
His movement was light. He flew a lot as he got two of the three penalties himself. In the 19th minute of the first half, Afif received a penetration pass and entered the box, but Nasib committed a foul while stopping him. The referee immediately called for a penalty. Afif came out as a kicker and scored the first goal.
In the 26th minute of the second half, Jordan’s Mahmoud Almardi committed a foul and a penalty was declared. Earlier, he allowed an equalizer, but Afif came out as a kicker and regained the 2-1 lead.
He also directly induced a penalty kick in the second half of extra time. He didn’t miss Jordan’s mistake in defense and rushed into the penalty box. He tripped over the goalkeeper’s one-on-one search. He declared a penalty kick after VAR and became a kicker to seal the penalty.
Afif, who had been ranked second with five goals before the match, was “relaxed” to become the top scorer with eight goals. It is the first time in one tournament that Qatar has become the top scorer since Almoez Ali, who scored nine goals in the 2019 United Arab Emirates (UAE) tournament.
After the match, Afif said, “I want to say thank you to all the Qataris. Words cannot describe how we feel. All the coaching staff, including the coach, have worked really hard,” adding, “Thank you to the team members who trusted me to kick the penalty kick. Thanks to you, I successfully completed all three penalty kicks and gained a lot of confidence. We deserved the win today.”
He became the only player in the competition to score a hat trick. He also won the MVP award. “I followed my teammate Ali in 2019 and became the winner of both MVP and top scorer,” AFC said. “His amazing performance was made in the final.”
Qatar won the 2019 United Arab Emirates (UEA) championship for the second consecutive time. The record is on par with Iran (1968, 1972, 1976), Korea (1956, 1960), Japan (2000, 2004), and Saudi Arabia (1988 and 1992).
Coach Marquez Lopez said, “I’m very happy. Afif deserves two awards. There were better-than-expected games and lower-than-expected games. In the end, it was the players who made the difference.”