Qatar clinched a thrilling 3-2 win over Iran in the Asian Cup semi-final, securing a spot in the final against Jordan. The match unfolded with remarkable intensity as Qatar retaliated to Sardar Azmoun’s stunning opener with goals from Jassem Gaber and Akram Afif.
Despite a controversial penalty decision, Almoez Ali’s 82nd-minute strike sealed Iran’s fate. Intending to repeat Japan’s 2000 and 2004 Asian Cup victories, Qatar is trying to defend its championship in the forthcoming match against Jordan.
Iran persistently probed Qatar’s defence, applying relentless pressure, yet Qatar managed to level unexpectedly when Jassem Gaber’s shot, deflected, found its way into the net.
Despite Iran’s dominance, Akram Afif nearly tilted the scales with a close attempt, initially denying it, then missing the rebound. However, Afif later found success, skillfully weaving through Iran’s defence to score his fifth goal of the tournament. Energised for the second half, Iran secured a penalty through VAR, with Alireza Jahanbakhsh successfully converting to level the score. Amidst chaotic moments in the box, Qatar seized the opportunity with a decisive goal from Ali.
Iran’s chances further dwindled as Khalilzadeh received a red card, reducing them to ten men. Despite Jahanbakhsh’s late effort to strike the post, Qatar managed to hold on, clinching the final berth and dashing Iran’s hopes of advancement.