Qatar 3-2 Iran: Ali the hero as holders reach AFC Asian Cup 2023 final

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Almoez Ali was the hero for Qatar as the hosts and Asian Cup holders beat Iran 3-2 in thrilling fashion to set up a final against Jordan.

Ali – the top scorer at the 2019 Asian Cup – showed superb composure and technique to settle Wednesday’s chaotic semi-final at the Al Thumama Stadium in favor of Qatar.

Qatar’s winner came after Alireza Jahanbakhsh, fresh from scoring a last-minute free-kick in the quarter, whistled home a penalty through the middle to pull Iran level after Akram Afif’s superb strike had put the visitors ahead before the break.

Sardar Azmoun’s early stunner was canceled out by Jassem Gaber’s deflected effort, with Iran – whose frustration was compounded when Shoja Khalilzadeh was sent off late on – squandered plenty of opportunities to retake the lead before Ali’s winner, while Jahanbakhsh went agonizingly close. to force extra time when he hit the post in a frantic finale.

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