First time finalists, Qatar beat four-time Champions Japan, 3-1 in the final match of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup on Friday to claim their first ever Asian Cup trophy.
The Arab nation had an incredible run to the final, having scored a total of 16 goals while conceding absolutely nothing prior to the final game. Qatar breezed through the group stages, scoring 10 goals and added an additional 6 goals in the knockout stages by recording 1-0 victories over Iraq and South Korea then a 4-0 win over tournament hosts, United Arab Emirates.
This Qatar team was indeed a surprise package in this year’s AFC Asian Cup and we learnt some valuable lessons from their Cup triumph. We have listed below the top 4 lessons we learnt from Qatar’s Asian Cup triumph viz:
- Never underestimate anyone
If anyone had said Qatar would win the cup before the tournament started, it would have drawn a few laughs from the pundits and stakeholders.
Nobody had expected such an amazing display from the new champions (well, except for former Barca player, Xavi Hernandez who currently plays in Qatar). Even their coach, Spaniard Felix Sanchez said before the tournament that his team was there to just “learn and become more competitive”. And they definitely became more competitive, going as far as winning the Cup. I guess, nobody is an underdog these days.
Qatar had come into the 24-nation tournament as underdogs Final result Qatar 3-1 Japan Qatar has defeated four-time winners Japan in the final of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup football tournament at the Zayed… https://t.co/0ujp0uwh7h
— Malachy Chidera (@Malachychidera) February 1, 2019
- Karma is a B***h
We saw a classic case of karma when Qatar knocked out Iraq in the Cup’s round of 16 knockout stage. Qatar triumphed over Iraq by a simple 1-0 scoeline with the goal scored by Iraqi-born central defender, Bassam Alrawi. Alrawi had his sweet revenge, scoring the free kick that knocked out the country that rejected him 5 years ago. Bassam was born in Iraq to a father who had even played in the Iraqi U-19 team but he was rejected by the Iraqi FA when he was offerd to them 5 years ago. Apparently, he wasn’t good enough to meet their standards. Well, there’s this thing they say about karma.
➡️His father, Hisham Al-Rawi, represented Iraq as a professional footballer 🇮🇶
➡️He was born in Iraq 👶
➡️His goal knocked Iraq out of the AFC Asian Cup 2019 🏆#AFCAsianCup2019 #BringItAllhttps://t.co/qhx0HFt7iI
— FOX Sports Asia (@FOXSportsAsia) January 22, 2019
- Nothing is Impossible
As stated earlier, the Qatari National team wasn’t even regarded as one of the top contenders for the title at the start of the tournament but this team shocked everyone. The players put up a strong show right from the onset of the tournament, having a growing self confidence with each passing match. They overcame all the odds and defeated Asian football giants, Japan in the final to prove that indeed nothing is impossible under the sun.
- The UAE are sore losers
After their 4-0 thrashing in the hands of Qatar, tournament hosts, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), launched a complaint against Qatar to the governing Asian Football Confederation (AFC), claiming that the Qatari national team had fielded two ineligible players in the competition.
— LuaLuaTV (@LuaLuaEnglish) January 31, 2019
The complaint was filed barely two hours after their loss. This complaint came after the UAE had lost in a stadium filled with only home fans (Qatari Nationals are currently not allowed in the UAE). The match also witnessed an ugly incident as some irate UAE fans threw a bottle, a cup and a sandal at the Qatar players.
UAE leadership, as the host, could have taken the high road but they chose to petty and small.
1. Campaign to insult #Qatar's players.
2. Failed to condemn #UAE fans throwing shoes and bottles at Qatari players.
3. UAE filed a complaint against Qatar after losing 4-0. 🤷🏾♂️ https://t.co/Jxs6CiqlT9
— Abdu عبدالرحمن (@abdu) February 1, 2019
Nevertheless, the complaint was dismissed by the AFC and Qatar went on to win the Cup. Much to the dismay of the UAE I’m sure!
AFC dismisses UAE complaint against Qatar ahead of Asian Cup final later today https://t.co/2qZAlJUx1Y
— Ahmed Al Omran (@ahmed) February 1, 2019
The Asian Cup is in Abu Dhabi. The Emiratis must be absolutely hating this 👀🍿
(Qatar also beat UAE 4-0 in the semifinals and the UAE lodged a complaint against 2 Qatari players to try and stop them winning😅) https://t.co/cfb72ZKNkk
— Bethan McKernan (@mck_beth) February 1, 2019
Qatar now has their sights on possibly conquering the world in the 2022 World Cup mundial which co-incidentally will be hosted by them.