Asian Cup Final Preview

Defending champions Qatar certainly have made the most of home advantage as they have made it all the way to the final in this year’s Asian Cup. They will be favourites to win the tie and to hold on to their crown at the Lusail Stadium.


Jordan vs Qatar


Of the 24 teams that started the competition two weeks ago few would have said that Qatar don’t stand a good chance of making the final, but not many would have given Jordan much hope. The tournament this year was held in nine venues across five cities with Qatar being given the responsibility of hosting this, so soon after having everything set up their 2022 tournament. In the 50 matches played so far there have been 50 goals scored and there have certainly been some entertaining and surprising results along the way. South Korea will go home disappointed having lost out to Jordan in the semi-final whereas it was Iran who were the beaten team in the other semi-final.


JORDAN TEAM PROFILE

Jordan enters the match in decent or average form, having won five of their last ten games and drawing another. They have looked good for most of the tournament, qualifying as one of the best third placed teams. Their run in the knockout stages includes them eliminating Iraq, Tajikistan as well as the aforementioned South Korea. They have been strong defensively, having kept clean sheets in half of their games, and will be relishing this appearance in a final, their first ever. 



QATAR TEAM PROFILE

Qatar are in better shape on paper than their opponents as they have won an impressive nine of their last ten matches. Ironically, their one defeat in that run came against Jordan, albeit in a friendly. That result though, might play on their minds as well as give their opponents confidence. However, there is a big difference between a friendly match and an Asian Cup final. Qatar were comfortable group winners and eliminated Palestine, Uzbekistan and Iran in the knockout rounds. Their win in the previous edition of the Asian Cup was their first and they will be looking to follow that up with another solid performance which should make them back to back champions. 

Jordan come into this match with pretty much a clean bill of health, there are no suspensions or injuries for manager Houcine Ammouta to worry about. Consistency has been key to their success and they have scarcely made any changes, sticking with the same starting eleven for most of the tournament. That is likely to continue so we will know what to expect from Jordan. Both of their forwards have performed well, scoring three goals each.

Qatar have some doubts over their captain, centre back Almahdi Ali and if he isn’t able to make it that could prove somewhat disruptive to their defensive organisation. At least there are no other major concerns and no suspensions to think about. Akram Afifi has five goals so he will be key in this match too, with the host nation hoping that he can continue his fine run of goalscoring form. All being well, we can assume that manager Tintin Marquez will pick the same eleven that started the semi-final.


Conclusion

These two sides have not met too often over recent years, with most encounters being friendlies. Qatar have the better head-to-head record, with three wins to one and the final match being a draw. As mentioned, Jordan did win the last meeting between the two, though, and they will be hoping that is something that plays into the minds of the Qatari team. One big advantage for Qatar is the fact that they will be playing this event in front of a home crowd. Qatar will be the favourites to win the match, understandably so, and we can probably expect a few goals in this final so the both teams to score and over 2.5 markets could be of interest as well as picking a potential goalscorer, such as the in-form Akram Afif. 


Last Updated: 09.02.2024

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