Akram Afif scores twice as Qatar beat Lebanon in AFC Asian Cup opener

Akram Afif scores twice as Qatar beat Lebanon in AFC Asian Cup opener

QLNews
By QLNews

Qatar started their AFC Asian Cup title defense at home on a strong note, defeating Lebanon 2-0 in a thrilling match in front of a capacity crowd at the Lusail Stadium on Friday.

Things did not seem to go Qatar’s way initially, with a goal by Almoez Ali disallowed in the sixth minute after the striker was deemed to be offside.

Qatar mostly kept possession of the ball in the first 20 minutes, though Lebanon kept their rivals on their feet with some quick-fire attacks down the flanks.

Akram Afif fulfilled the role of playmaker to perfection, stitching together moves and creating chances for his team-mates to score.  

Lebanon’s Walid Shour missed a good chance in the 23rd minute. His right-footed shot from outside the box went close, but rolled past the left side of the post.

Afif’s header, off a cross from Yusuf Abdurisag, ricocheted off the bar in the 31st minute.

Finally, it was Afif who broke the stalemate with a stunning goal in the 45th. Assisted by Almoez Ali, he got the ball into the center of the box and made no mistakes in drilling it in.

Almoez then put Qatar further ahead in the 56th with a beautiful header. Mohammed Waad assisted him with a cross from the right.

Buoyed by the two goals, Qatar started attacking more, but it did not yield them further results. Lebanon had a few chances of their own, but their players fumbled most of them.

And just when Lebanon thought they had enough punishment for the day, Akram Afif scored his second goal of the night in the sixth minute of added time to finish off the game in style.

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