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Qatar edge Uzbekistan on penalties to set up Asian Cup semi-final with Iran

Qatar edge Uzbekistan on penalties to set up Asian Cup semi-final with Iran

Sunday, February 04, 2024, 13:12 GMT+7
Qatar edge Uzbekistan on penalties to set up Asian Cup semi-final with Iran
Soccer Football - AFC Asian Cup - Quarter Final - Qatar v Uzbekistan - Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor, Qatar - February 3, 2024 Qatar players celebrate after the match. Photo: Reuters

AL KHOR, Qatar - Defending champions and hosts Qatar beat Uzbekistan 3-2 on penalties in a thrilling Asian Cup quarter-final that ended 1-1 after extra time at Al Bayt Stadium on Saturday to set up a tantalising clash with Iran.

With nearly 59,000 fans in attendance, Qatar goalkeeper Meshaal Barsham stood strong to save three penalties in the shootout before Pedro Miguel converted the decisive spot kick to send Qatar through to the semi-finals once again.

Qatar had taken the lead shortly before the half-hour mark when captain Hassan Al Haydos dribbled into the box and his attempted cross took a deflection which went through the gloves of Utkir Yusupov into his own net to go down as an own goal.

Soccer Football - AFC Asian Cup - Quarter Final - Qatar v Uzbekistan - Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor, Qatar - February 3, 2024 Uzbekistan's Odildzhon Khamrobekov celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates. Photo: Reuters

Soccer Football - AFC Asian Cup - Quarter Final - Qatar v Uzbekistan - Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor, Qatar - February 3, 2024 Uzbekistan's Odildzhon Khamrobekov celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates. Photo: Reuters

But Uzbekistan did not give up and took the game to Qatar, having several attempts on goal until the 59th minute when Odiljon Hamrobekov managed to take a shot that brushed the fingers of Barsham in goal before finding the net.

Neither side could find a breakthrough in 90 minutes while Uzbekistan survived a late rally from Qatar in extra time to force penalties, where Uzbekistan's Rustam Ashurmatov and Qatar's 2019 top scorer Almoez Ali had their efforts saved.

Qatar had their hearts in their mouths when Al-Mahdi Ali Mukhtar skied his effort but Barsham turned saviour to seal their progress and give the hosts a memorable night in the desert.

Soccer Football - AFC Asian Cup - Quarter Final - Qatar v Uzbekistan - Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor, Qatar - February 3, 2024 Qatar's Akram Afif reacts. Photo: Reuters

Soccer Football - AFC Asian Cup - Quarter Final - Qatar v Uzbekistan - Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor, Qatar - February 3, 2024 Qatar's Akram Afif reacts. Photo: Reuters

Earlier on Saturday, Iran knocked out four-times champions and the continent's top-ranked side Japan after skipper Alireza Jahanbakhsh converted a penalty in second-half stoppage time to seal a 2-1 victory.

Soccer Football - AFC Asian Cup - Quarter Final - Qatar v Uzbekistan - Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor, Qatar - February 3, 2024 Uzbekistan's Azizbek Turg'unboyev in action with Qatar's Almoez Ali. Photo: Reuters

Soccer Football - AFC Asian Cup - Quarter Final - Qatar v Uzbekistan - Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor, Qatar - February 3, 2024 Uzbekistan's Azizbek Turg'unboyev in action with Qatar's Almoez Ali. Photo: Reuters
Soccer Football - AFC Asian Cup - Quarter Final - Qatar v Uzbekistan - Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor, Qatar - February 3, 2024 Uzbekistan's Rustamjon Ashurmatov is shown a yellow card by referee Hee-Gon Kim. Photo: Reuters
Soccer Football - AFC Asian Cup - Quarter Final - Qatar v Uzbekistan - Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor, Qatar - February 3, 2024 Uzbekistan's Rustamjon Ashurmatov is shown a yellow card by referee Hee-Gon Kim. Photo: Reuters

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