Two teams that met in an exhibition match ahead of the start of the Asian Cup meet in the final.
Qatar and Jordan will meet in the final of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Qatar Asian Cup 2023 at Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, at 0:00 a.m. ET on June 11. Qatar is ranked 58th in the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA), while Jordan is 87th.
There is only one match left in the tournament. The two teams have been playing for about a month, starting with the group stage, where they played six games. The team with the edge is Qatar. Qatar is the defending champion and host nation. They’ve proven they’re more than capable of winning, and they’ll be playing in front of their home crowd.
They were drawn in Group A with Tajikistan, China, and Lebanon, and they advanced to the tournament by winning all three of their group games. The defense was strong, scoring five goals and conceding none in three games. In the round of 16, they conceded their first goal of the tournament, but managed to beat Palestine 2-1 to reach the quarterfinals. The quarterfinals and semifinals were not easy.
First, Qatar faced Uzbekistan in the quarterfinals. They took the lead in the 27th minute through Hassan Al-Haidos, only to equalize 14 minutes into the second half. The match went to penalty kicks, with Qatar winning 3-2 on penalties. The semifinal against Iran was just as intense. After conceding an early goal in the first four minutes, Qatar fought back with back-to-back goals from Jassem Gaber and Akram Afif. They equalized from the penalty spot early in the second half, but Almoez Ali scored the winner in the 37th minute to secure a thrilling one-goal victory.
Qatar will now look to win their second consecutive title. With back-to-back home matches, they will be looking to build on their positive momentum. If Qatar wins the tournament, it will be their second title of the tournament and second in a row. Only four other teams have ever won two or more consecutive titles: South Korea (1956, 1960), Iran (1968, 1972, 1976), Saudi Arabia (1984, 1988), and Japan (2000, 2004).
Jordan, who will face Qatar, is also making history at the tournament. Jordan has never been a big player on the international stage. The same goes for the Asian Cup. Their best result so far has been the quarterfinals. They reached the quarterfinals in 2004 and 2011, but back then, they only started in the quarterfinals if they made it through the group stage. They were eliminated in the round of 16 at the 2019 tournament, when the field was expanded. In fact, the first round of the tournament was their best performance.
But this time, it’s different. Jordan was in Group E with South Korea, Bahrain, and Malaysia. After a convincing win over Malaysia in the first round, the Jordanians played South Korea to a 2-2 draw. With one win and one draw in two games, Jordan 토토 advanced to the round of 16 as the third best team in the group before a late Bahraini strike in the final match.
Jordan won 3-2 against Iraq in the round of 16 and 1-0 against Tajikistan in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, they faced South Korea again, a team they had beaten in the group stage. Jordan put in another impressive performance. They put Korea under intense pressure from the start of the first half and went on to win 2-0. This is already their best result in history. Now, Jordan will try to win their first Asian Cup title.
Notably, the two teams played an exhibition match before the tournament kicked off. They met on January 6 at the Tani Bin Jassim Stadium in Doha, Qatar, with Jordan winning 2-1. Qatar fielded a full squad of key players including Almoez Ali, Akram Afif, and Hassan Al Haidos, while Jordan fielded a number of key resources including Yazan Al Naimat and Musa Al Tamari.
Qatar opened the scoring in the 11th minute on a penalty kick. However, Al Naimat equalized in the sixth minute of the second half, followed by a Jordanian penalty kick in the 13th minute. The score remained the same until the end of the match. Notably, Qatar had met Jordan three times in 10 years prior to the friendly and had a winning streak.
A month after the exhibition match, they would meet again at the highest level. Both teams are expected to go all out as history will be made no matter who wins.