“Defending champion” Qatar defeated Lebanon in the opening match of the 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup and reported its first win of the tournament. Local media did not hide their confidence, saying, “It made people who thought Qatar had given up the championship doubt the idea.”랭크카지노주소
Qatar won the first Group A match against Lebanon held at Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, at 1 a.m. on Saturday (Korea time) by adding multiple goals by Akram Afif and an additional goal by Almoez Ali (Al-Duhail). Qatar ranked 58th in the FIFA rankings, while Lebanon ranked 107th.
Qatar, which won the Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2019 by winning all three of its group matches and winning 19 points and two points in the tournament, including South Korea (the quarterfinals), the host UAE (the semifinals), and Japan (the final), continued its momentum in the first Asian Cup match.
Afif scored multiple goals from the opening match of the Asian Cup, becoming the first multi-goal player in the tournament, and Ali tied with Lee Dong-gook for second place with the most goals scored by a total of 10 times at the Asian Cup. The player with the most goals scored is Ali Daei of Iran (14 goals).
On the other hand, Lebanon, which aims to advance to the tournament for the first time in its history at the third Asian Cup, suffered a complete defeat from the opening match, sending warning signs. Group A includes Qatar, Lebanon, Tajikistan and China.
Qatar continued its offensive from the very beginning in front of 82,490 spectators on the day. It shook the net first with Ali’s right foot shot at the counterattack situation in the sixth minute of the first half, but the goal was canceled through VAR. It was a scene that applied the “Semi-Automatic Offside Reading Technology (SAOT),” which was introduced from the Asian Cup.
Since then, Qatar has continued to aim for Lebanon’s goal without losing the initiative. Then, it broke the balance of 0 at the end of the first half. Afif was inundating the ball that Ali pushed in front of the penalty box from the penalty arc, and connected it with a right-footed non-stop to score the goal. The goalkeeper couldn’t respond to the low shot in the right corner. It was his first goal of the championship.
Qatar, which gained momentum, scored an additional goal in the 11th minute of the second half to take the lead. Mohammed Wad connected the pass that Afif sent to the left side with a sharp left-footed cross. Ali connected it with a header at the door and opened Lebanon’s goal again.
Lebanon, which was in a tight spot, launched a counterattack, but Qatar did not allow a gap easily. Rather, Qatar sealed the victory with Afif’s extra goal in the extra time of the second half. After snatching the opponent’s defender’s inexperienced ball handling, he rushed in front of the penalty area and connected it with a left foot shot.
In the end, Qatar`s 3-0 complete victory ended the game. Qatar took the lead in ball possession with 61.4 percent, and led the team 16-9 in the number of shots fired. It also displayed concentration by scoring three of its five effective shots.
Qatari media Al Jazeera said, “If there were people who said the host country would hand over the trophy without a fight, they would doubt that idea through this match,” adding, “The host country didn’t just come to fill in the number of participating teams. They reminded the rest of the world, including Japan, of their talent.”
“The game ended in a happy mood for both the players and the fans,” Lebanon coach Tintin Marquez said. “I am happy that 80,000 fans gathered to cheer for us and that we led the game well. We still have two more group games to play. We will proceed in stages. We played our own games and tried to achieve our goal. This is the way we have to go.”
“We also had the opportunity, but we failed to score a goal. It is a long-standing rule in soccer that a player loses if he fails to score a goal. Unfortunately, the team lost a goal just before the half-time. Still, I am satisfied with the players’ efforts. I will try to recover well for the next game,” Lebanon coach Miodrag Radulovic said.
With the opening match of Lebanon in Qatar starting with the opening match of the Asian Cup, three consecutive matches are scheduled on the 13th. Starting with the match between Australia and India (Group B) at 8:30 p.m., the match between China and Tajikistan (Group A) at 11:30 p.m. and Uzbekistan and Syria (Group B) at 2:30 a.m. on the 14th will be held one after another.
South Korea, which is currently continuing its last soaking in Doha, Qatar, will play its first Group E match against Bahrain at 8:30 p.m. on the 15th at Jasim bin Hamad Stadium. Through this tournament, South Korean soccer will try to win the Asian Cup for the first time in 64 years since 1960.