Qatar beaten by Iran, suffer early Asian elimination
SYDNEY: Qatar crashed out of the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 following a 0-1 defeat to Group C favourites Iran at Stadium Australia on Thursday evening.
The result means the 2014 Gulf Cup champions are out of the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 having previously lost their opening game 4-1 against the United Arab Emirates.
A crowd of 22,672 travelled out to Stadium Australia, with the vast majority backing Iran and turning the iconic venue into a mini Azadi Stadium and, for the opening quarter of the game, the atmosphere was more noteworthy than the play on display as both sides battled for supremacy in midfield.
Iran finally took the on 52 minutes, with Azmoun’s moment of brilliance capping a fine move that featured tenacity and quality in equal measure.
Coach Djamal Belmadi tried to blood intensity to Qatar’s attacking forays by introducing Khalfan Ibrahim, but the former Asian player of the year did little to prevent a painful early exit for a squad that was expected to outrival most teams in Asia’s top football competition.
For Qatar now there is nothing left to play for save pride when they face Bahrain after two defeats in frustrating circumstances, meanwhile Iran found their way into the quarter-finals for a sixth straight AFC Asian Cup.