Akram Afif led Qatar to their second consecutive AFC Asian Cup™ title by scoring a hat-trick of penalties in their 3-1 victory over Jordan in the Qatar 2023™ final at Lusail Stadium on Saturday.
Despite Yazan Al Naimat’s equalizer giving first-time finalists Jordan hope, Afif’s composure and Qatar’s overall dominance secured their title defense comfortably.
Afif’s hat-trick, the tournament’s first, brought his total goals to eight, earning him the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 Yili Top Scorer Award.
Before kickoff, Iraq legend Younis Mahmoud unveiled the AFC Asian Cup trophy to a full house at Lusail Stadium, setting the stage for an exciting final.
Qatar took the initiative early on, with Afif almost capitalizing on Jordan’s defensive lapse in the fifth minute, but goalkeeper Yazeed Abulaila intervened.
Afif had another chance two minutes later, but his shot from Lucas Mendes’ cross was saved by Abulaila.
Qatar vs Jordan: Afif once again the superstar for Qatar
Qatar continued to press, with Hasan Al Hydos delivering a superb pass to Almoez Ali, who was denied by Mahmoud Al Mardi.
Jordan struggled to match Qatar’s intensity and conceded a penalty in the 22nd minute after Abdallah Nasib fouled Afif, who calmly converted to increase his tournament tally to six goals.
Despite Jordan’s efforts, they failed to equalize before halftime, with Mousa Tamari’s shot blocked by Mohammed Waad and then missing a close-range chance from Ali Olwan’s cross.
In the second half, Jordan intensified their attacks, with Barsham denying Olwan’s acrobatic effort and Ehsan Haddad’s close-range shot.
Jordan’s persistence paid off when Al Naimat scored in the 67th minute after collecting Haddad’s cross and firing into the bottom corner.
Qatar regained the lead in the 73rd minute with Afif converting his second penalty after Mahmoud Al Mardi fouled Ismaeel Mohammad.
In stoppage time, Qatar got another penalty after a VAR review showed Abulaila’s foul on Boualem Khoukhi, allowing Afif to complete his hat-trick and seal Qatar’s second AFC Asian Cup title.