Qatar's Akram Afif was named Asian Cup player of the tournament
Doha (AFP) - Qatar’s Akram Afif was named Asian Cup player of the tournament after scoring a hat-trick of penalties in their 3-1 win over Jordan in Saturday’s final.
The livewire forward finished as the tournament’s top scorer on eight goals as hosts Qatar won their second consecutive Asian title in Doha.
Afif held his nerve to convert from the spot three times against Jordan in front of over 85,000 fans at Lusail Stadium, which staged the World Cup final 14 months ago.
The 27-year-old celebrated his goals by producing a playing card with his picture on it before the image flipped to an “S”.
Afif plays for Qatari club Al-Sadd and had stints at clubs in Belgium and Spain earlier in his career.
He helped Qatar banish the painful memory of their 2022 World Cup flop on home soil by retaining the Asian Cup.
Qatar lost all three of their World Cup games on home soil and crashed out in the group phase, the worst record of any host in the competition’s history.
But it was a different story at the Asian Cup, where Qatar retained their title despite replacing coach Carlos Queiroz with Tintin Marquez a month before the tournament began.