Doha, February 03, 2024, The Europe Today: In a captivating Asian Cup quarter-final, defending champions and hosts Qatar emerged victorious against Uzbekistan, winning 3-2 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in extra time at Al Bayt Stadium on Saturday. The thrilling encounter, witnessed by nearly 59,000 fans, sets up an eagerly anticipated semi-final clash with Iran.
The tension soared as the match unfolded, reaching a dramatic climax in the penalty shootout. Qatar’s goalkeeper, Meshaal Barsham, showcased nerves of steel, making three crucial saves to deny Uzbekistan and pave the way for Pedro Miguel to convert the decisive spot kick. The collective effort secured Qatar’s place in the semi-finals, delighting the passionate home crowd.
Qatar had initially taken the lead just before the half-hour mark when captain Hassan Al Haydos ventured into the box. His attempted cross, taking an unexpected deflection, slipped through the gloves of Uzbekistan’s goalkeeper Utkir Yusupov, resulting in an own goal.
Undeterred, Uzbekistan fought valiantly, taking the game to Qatar with multiple attempts on goal. Their persistence paid off in the 59th minute when Odiljon Hamrobekov managed to send a shot that brushed the fingers of Barsham before finding the net, leveling the score.
The captivating contest showcased the resilience and skill of both teams, creating a memorable spectacle for football enthusiasts. Qatar’s progression to the semi-finals sets the stage for a highly anticipated clash with Iran, promising another thrilling chapter in the 2024 Asian Cup.