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Qatar qualify for knockout rounds of the Asian Cup


Hosts and defending Champions Qatar reached the knockout rounds of the Asian cup as they beat newcomers Tajikistan 1-0 at the Al Bayt Stadium, in front of 55,000 fans.

Mercurial forward Akram Afif, who scored a brace in their opening match against Lebanon, was on the scoresheet with a clinical finish, after he raced onto a through ball by Almoez Ali in the 17th minute poking it past Tajikistan’s keeper Rustam Yatimov.

Amadoni Kamolov received his matching orders late in the game, after lashing out and kicking Ahmed Al-Ganehi’s, this wouldn’t have any effect on the match though as Qatar hang on for a much-needed victory.

Qatar’s qualification to the knockout rounds serves as a consolation, as they lost their previous three games at home in the World Cup; 2022, the worst performance of any host in the competition’s history.

Former Real Madrid coach TinTin Marquez was brought in for the axed Carlos Queiroz as a last minute replacement, and the tactician has set his sights on lifting the trophy on home turf.

Qatar’s victory see them top Group A with a game to spare, with China having two points in pole position to qualify alongside them. Tajikistan and Lebanon each have one point.

Tajikistan and Lebanon face each other, while China will be looking to secure their position in the knockout rounds when they face Qatar.