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Qatar trounce UAE 4-2 to reach semis

Qatar trounce UAE 4-2 to reach semis

Ayeni Olusegun
Doha
Newly-crowned Asian Player of the Year Akram Afif dazzled with a brace as Qatar beat the UAE 4-2 in a pulsating encounter at the Khalifa International Stadium on Monday to qualify for the semi-finals of the 24th Arabian Gulf Cup.
Over 43,780 fans at the stadium were treated to one of Qatar’s best performance so far in the Gulf Cup as Afif, Hassan al Haydos and Boualem Khoukhi scored for the Maroons.
Qatar, three-time winners of the biennial regional football tournament, finished second in Group A and will now face Group B winners Saudi Arabia in the semi-final on Thursday. In the other semis, Bahrain set up a clash with Iraq.
“Congratulations to the players and our fans for the result. The players did well, though we knew a draw would be enough. The players started with the right mindset. We conceded the first goal when we were playing our game but in the second half we created chances. We deserve the result,” Qatar coach Felix Sanchez said.
“In all the three games, we tried our best but we know the first game is always difficult. I think the players showed good temperament and played with great personality especially after losing to Iraq. We are growing in the competition. We have just two days to recover but we will try to recover in a good condition to play the semis,” Sanchez quipped.

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