AFC U-23 semifinal: Qatar edged in penalty thriller
CHANGZHOU: Qatar on Tuesday were edged by Vietnam in
a penalty shootout in the semifinals of the AFC U-23 Asian
After the two sides finished extra time at 2-2, Vietnam’s won
the penalties 4-3 at the Changzhou Sports Centre.
Akram Afif opened the scoring in the 39th minute while star
striker Almoez Ali fired one goal in the 87th minute in regulation
Afif gave Qatar the lead by converting a penalty kick. Ali found
the net with a close-range shot after a corner kick.
Nguyen Quang Hai scored a brace to bring Vietnam back into
the game in which Qatar had taken lead twice.
In a game that eventually went the distance of 120 minutes, Qatar
dominated proceedings with sublime football in regulation time.
Ali and Afif attacked the Vietnamese box regularly. Ali finished
the tournament with 6 goals to his name.
Qatar, coached by Felix Sanchez, reached the semifinals with wins
over Uzbekistan, Oman, China and Palestine.
In the penalty shootout, Ahmed Moein and Sultan Al Brake missed
After missing their first penalty, Vietnam were on target with their
remaining four shots at goal.
At the last championship held in DOHA in 2016, Qatar finished fourth.
Al Anabi will now play the 3rd-4th place playoff against the loser of
the Uzbekistan-Korea Republic semifinal later on Tuesday.
The 16-team tournament will end on January 27.