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Qatar comprehensively booked their place in the round of sixteen of the Asian Cup with a 6-0 thrashing of North Korea. Al Annabi registered their biggest ever Asian Cup win, whilst striker Almoez Ali scored four becoming the fifth-ever player to achieve the feat at the Asian Cup.
After starting slowly in their opener against Lebanon, Qatar wasted little time finding the back of the net with just nine minutes on the clock. Arkam Afif picked out Almoez Ali, who calmly controlled the ball in the box and lashed a shot past keeper Ri Myong-guk.
Minutes later and the 2022 hosts promptly doubled their advantage again with Almoez Ali at the heart of the action. A cross from captain Hassan Haydoos found the 22-year old who turned the ball into the net with a smart finish.
North Korea looked completely out of their depth, and this was underlined as they conceded a third goal with two minutes left to play in the first half. Inexplicably, keeper Ri Myong-guk charged out of his goal to Akram Afif. The Al Sadd attacker lifted the ball towards the goal leaving Kouki Baoulem free to head the ball into an unguarded net.
Ali completed his hat-trick on the 55th minute, timing his run perfectly to latch onto Abdulkarim Hassan’s through ball and find the bottom corner. Five minutes later Qatar went 5-0 up, with Almoez claiming his fourth of the contest, running at the panicked North Koreans before smashing a shot into the bottom left-hand corner.
Seven minutes later Qatar completed the rout as AFC Player of the year Abdulkarim Hassan bounded through the backline to see his shot nestle into the corner.
North Korea was reduced to ten men in stoppage time as Jong Il-gwan saw red for a rash challenge on Hassan Haydoos. Now after emphatically sealing Qatar will now turn their attention to a contest to determine who will run out as group winners when they face Saudi Arabia in Abu Dhabi.
Goal! Qatar makes it six (six!) Abdulkarim Hassan cuts North Korea open and smashes his shot into the bottom corner.
Goal! That man again, Almoez Ali! A driven shot into the bottom makes it 5-0!
Goa! Almoez Ali has hat-trick! A well-timed run from the striker, and it's a tap in! 4-0 Qatar!
Goal! Qatar go 3-0 up! Akram Afif lifts the ball over Ri Myong-guk and Boualem Khoukhi is left with a simple header!
Goal! Qatar double their lead! Almoez Ali grabs his second of the game, ghosting at the near post
Goal! Qatar take an early lead! Akram Afif finds Almoez Ali, and the striker makes no mistake from close range!
Right, Nearly game time! Keep an eye out for the goals as they go in!
The Qatar dressing room is looking good ahead of the game! We are 30 minutes away from kick-off in Al Ain!
We have team news! Two changes for Qatar, AFC Player of the year Abdulkarim Hassan starts after an impressive cameo against Lebanon. Abdulaziz Hatem also gets the nod in central midfield over Karim Boudiaf! As for North Korea, Rim Kwang-hyok comes in to replace the suspended Kwang Song Han.
Now for Qatar! The local press is confident of progression this afternoon!
Meanwhile, for #Qatar, today is their chance to qualify for the Round of 16 as they face North Korea.— Ahdaaf (@ahdaafme) January 13, 2019
“The next step”
“The important encounter”
“The gateway to Round of 16”#AsianCup2019 #AhdaafAC19 pic.twitter.com/eASprtZWpU
So what about North Korea? Comfortably defeated by Saudi 4-0 can they bounce back against Qatar? One thing is certain is that the North Koreans will be without one of their biggest attacking threats as Kwang Song Han who was sent off against Saudi Arabia. A real blow for the nation that visited the 2010 World Cup in Brazil.
Good afternoon, welcome to the Live Updates of North Korea Vs Qatar in the AFC Asian Cup. Qatar can seal their place in the round of sixteen against the North Koreans in the Al Ain. As ever, join me for all the latest build-up, team news & Live Match Commentary including the goals as they go in!