UAE files complaint against Qatar players with Asian Cup organisers

Bora Milutinovic

But for Japan there was only disappointment as their Asian Cup campaign fell at the final hurdle, head coach Hajime Moriyasu unable to lead his country to glory after winning the competition as a player in 1992.

Qatar stuck to a 5-3-2 formation in most matches and relied on counter attacks to score the goals.

Qatar's unblemished progress through the tournament has been played out against the backdrop of an 18-month diplomatic crisis that has left the hosts of the 2022 World Cup very isolated within the region.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan congratulated Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani for winning the Asian Cup after beating four-time champion Japan on Friday.

Though Japan halved the deficit midway through the second half, the 2022 World Cup hosts sealed the victory seven minutes from time after Akram Afif converted a penalty.

Their fans have been unable to travel across the Gulf to support the team because of the current political rift between Qatar and the UAE and the players appear determined to take a first major worldwide trophy home to them.

Felix Sanchez's team are keeping their expectations in check for the South American championship despite snatching the Asian title from a lowly world ranking of 93.

Qatar survived a wobble at two-nil when Takumi Minamino pulled one back on 69 minutes, only for Uzbek referee Ravshan Irmatov to award the Maroons a penalty on video review for a handball by Japan captain Maya Yoshida. "We still have a lot to learn", Yoshida said.

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Golden boot victor and tournament MVP Almoez Ali scored an early opener before Abdelaziz Hatim added a second as Felix Sanchez's side stunned Japan by taking a two-goal lead into halftime.

"It was a sad end to the biggest Asian Cup tournament for Japan as Qatar won the title", the article concluded.

Team officials revealed that Lux was a smash hit with the ladies back in Kyrgyzstan - but the bashful hunk insisted he would rather hide out in his hotel than get the David Beckham treatment.

The two wingers Abdelkarim Hassan and Pedro Correia also played their part with the latter hard to get past on the right side. "But I feel proud at how we developed under pressure".

Last night, Qatar showed they are not far off taking Japan's place in Asia.

With few Japanese fans having made the trip and the locals not being too well-disposed towards the Qataris at the moment, there might not be much of a crowd to see them do it if they can prevent Japan from lifting the cup for a fifth time.

"They have many different ways to punish you".

Both Japan and Qatar will compete in Brazil as invitees when the Copa America starts on June 14.

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