AFC Asian Cup 2019: 5 talking points as Qatar overcome Saudi Arabia 2-0 to go through as group winners


Following Qatar’s 2-0 victory over Saudi Arabia which sees them through to the knockout rounds as winners of Group E, FOX Sports Asia takes a look at the major talking points from the encounter.

Hassan Al Haydos missed a penalty before striker Almoez Ali scored just before half-time to give Qatar the lead. Qatar had a goal mysteriously ruled out before Ali struck once again in the 80th minute to put the game beyond Saudi Arabia.

1. Al Owais saves penalty to keep scores level 

Despite some very presentable opportunities on either end, neither side had managed to break the deadlock before Ali Hadi Albulayhi brought down the wily Almoez Ali in the penalty area to allow Qatar the opportunity to go a goal up.

Saudi Arabia keeper Al Owais had other ideas, however, saving expertly from Hassan Al Haydos to keep Saudi Arabia in the game.

2. Qatar exorcise penalty ghost to open scoring 

AFC Asian Cup 2019: KSA 0-1 QAT (Almoez Ali 45+1′)

Having seen Haydos miss the penalty he won for his side, Almoez Ali went about setting things right almost instantaneously – slotting the ball home as the clock struck 45 to put his side a goal up.

He also became the competition’s current top-scorer in the process, the Qatar striker having scored 6 goals from a mere 3 games, which also includes a mind-numbing 4 goals in one game.

3. Two big calls in ten minutes by referee 

Highlights – Saudi Arabia vs Qatar

Two of the biggest talking points of the game came within 10 minutes of each other, with both of them being crucial refereeing calls.

Fahad Al Muwallad’s calls for a penalty were first waved away by the referee, denying Saudi Arabia a penalty, followed by another decision 10 minutes later to rule out Almoez Ali’s goal after the striker had the ball in the back of the net.

Having waved away appeals on both occasions for reasons best known to him, the referee certainly had a crucial role to play in shaping a game where the dimensions might have changed completely had either of the calls gone the other way.

4. Sensational Ali breaks record and seals game for Qatar 

AFC Asian Cup 2019: KSA 0-2 QAT (Almoez Ali 80′)

Having seen a resurgence of sorts from the Saudi Arabians who were eager to draw level, Almoez Ali repeated his first half scoring antics late on to put the game beyond Saudi Arabia. Heading in from close range following a cross from Hatim, Ali scored his second of the game with consummate ease in the 80th minute.

What was even more impressive was the fact that his 2nd of the night made him the highest scorer-ever in the tournament in the 21st century, scoring his 7th and Qatar’s 10th goal of the tournament.

5. Qatar go through as group winners 

The clash between the two gulf-heavyweights was no dead rubber, being hugely relevant in context of the knockout phases – with the victor progressing as group winner to the knockouts.

Despite some questionable refereeing decisions, Qatar were clearly the side who wanted the win more, creating the better opportunities as well as converting them at crucial junctures of the game, and thus progress to the next round as winners of Group E, Saudi Arabia joining them as runners up.