Qatar and Iran seal semifinal spots in heart-stopping Asian Cup clashes

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Qatar advances to the Asian Cup semifinals, beating Uzbekistan 3-2 in penalties after a 1-1 draw, while Iran secures a last-minute victory over Japan to join the semifinal lineup

Qatar and Iran seal semifinal spots in heart-stopping Asian Cup clashes

Qatar secured a spot in the Asian Cup semifinals on Saturday, overcoming Uzbekistan 3-2 in a nerve-racking penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw in normal and extra time at Al Bayt Stadium.

The match saw an intense battle between the two teams, with Qatar initially taking the lead due to an own goal by Uzbekistan's Utkir Yusupov in the 27th minute. However, the Uzbek side fought back, leveling the score when Odiljon Hamrobekov found the net with a close-range effort in the 59th minute.

Following a deadlock that persisted through extra time, the match was decided by penalties. Qatar’s Akram Afif, Sultan Al Brake, and Pedro Miguel showcased their skill and composure, successfully converting their shots. Uzbekistan’s Otabek Shukurov and Shokhboz Umarov also scored, but it wasn't enough to secure a win.

Earlier at the Education City Stadium, Iran clinched a dramatic victory over Japan to advance to the semifinals. The match was a rollercoaster, with Japan's Hidemasa Morita breaking the deadlock in the 28th minute. Iran responded with an equalizer from Mohammad Mohebi in the 55th minute, setting the stage for a tense finale. Alireza Jahanbakhsh emerged as Iran’s hero, netting a decisive stoppage-time goal that eliminated Japan and propelled Iran into the last four of the tournament.

The Asian Cup's intense matches are setting the stage for an exhilarating conclusion, as teams battle fiercely for the prestigious title.

Semifinal Fixture

Tuesday: Jordan vs. South Korea (Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium)

Wednesday: Iran vs. Qatar (Al Thumama Stadium)

Source: Türkiye Today with AA

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