The finals were held in Qatar from 7 to 29 January A television viewing audience of million in 80 countries across the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, North America and North Africa witnessed Japan defeat Australia 1—0 in the final. The teams finishing first, second and third in the AFC Asian Cup , and the host nation for the competition, received automatic byes to the finals. They were joined by the top two finishers in each of five qualifying groups. The AFC Challenge Cup acted as a further qualification competition for eligible countries within the emerging and developing category of member associations. These two winners were India and North Korea.
Qatar at the AFC Asian Cup
Qatar national team receives hero's welcome upon Doha return
On Friday, the Qatari national soccer team did what it had never done before, beating Japan in the final of the Asian Cup to claim its first continental trophy ever. Then they put four goals on the hosts, the United Arab Emirates, leading to UAE fans pelting the Qataris with shoes and bottles of soda. No matter, because Qatar then defeated top continental power Japan in the final, thanks to not one but two incredible goals. The first came 12 minutes in, from Sudan-born Qatari striker Almoez Ali; watch him control the ball with some ridiculous touches before firing off a no-look overhead kick into the corner of the Japanese goal sure, the goalie could have done better, but you can never really expect this goal :. The second goal came 15 minutes later, and was a more traditional screamer from Doha native Abdulaziz Hatem:. Just like that, Qatar locked up its first major tournament win in the first tune-up event on the road to the ever-controversial World Cup. Despite becoming the first nation since literally the second World Cup ever to host a World Cup without having qualified for a previous edition, Qatar has built itself quite a powerhouse of a team in a short amount of time.
Qatar welcomes Asian Cup football champions home
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