Qatar beat Tajikistan to reach Asian Cup Round of 16

Qatar beat Tajikistan to reach Asian Cup Round of 16

Defending champions Qatar were the first team to reach the Round of 16 of the AFC Asian Cup, defeating Tajikistan 1-0 on Wednesday at Al Bayt Stadium.

Akram Afif, who scored a brace for the hosts in their 3-0 opening victory over Lebanon on Friday, scored the all-important goal in the 17th minute, sending home fans into raptures thanks to a beautiful assist from striker Almoez Ali.

The result also secured Qatar’s top spot in Group A, as China were held to a second consecutive goalless draw by Lebanon earlier on Wednesday at Al Thumama Stadium.

Tajikistan fought well and produced numerous scoring opportunities before being reduced to ten men, with Amadoni Kamolov sent off in the 81st minute after a VAR review for colliding with replacement Ahmed Al Ganehi.

Marquez Lopez coached Qatar will now aim to maintain their perfect record when they face China in their last group encounter on Monday at Khalifa International Stadium, while Tajikistan will face Lebanon on the same day at Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium, hoping to move to the round of 16.

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