Watch all the goals from the Asian Cup final between Japan and Qatar in the UAE.

By Avi Creditor
February 01, 2019

Qatar has won its first Asian Cup final, and it did so in style.

The 2022 World Cup host took a 2-0 lead over favored Japan within the first half an hour of their final in Abu Dhabi on a pair of wonderful strikes, en route to a 3-1 triumph over the four-time winner of the continental competition.

Almoez Ali set an Asian Cup record with his ninth goal of the competition, serving a pass from Akram Afif to himself for a bicycle kick that may not have been the most powerful overhead attempt but was effective nonetheless, opening the scoring in the 12th minute.

Afif provided the service through the lines for Qatar's second, finding Abdulaziz Hatem, who ripped a 20-yard, left-footed blast into the far netting to make it 2-0 15 minutes later.

Japan pulled one back in the 69th minute through Takumi Minamino, after he sprung free behind the back line inside the Qatar area and deftly finished to make it 2-1.

The two-goal advantage was restored in the 83rd minute, though, when Afif put away a penalty kick after a questionable call to give Qatar the breathing room necessary to finish off the victory.

Qatar's presence in the final has not been without controversy, after host nation United Arab Emirates lodged a protest that Qatar had fielded ineligible players. The UAE's protest, which was dismissed by the Asian Football Confederation prior to Friday's final, questioned the legitimacy and authenticity of documents for Ali and Bassam Al-Rawi that proved their eligibility. Both were born outside of Qatar but are eligible to represent the national team on the basis of having a parent or grandparent born there.

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