Friday, 20 September, 2019

AFC to probe sandal throwing at Asian Cup semi-final

Watch Qatar take on UAE in Asian Cup semi-final on giant screen Watch Qatar take on UAE in Asian Cup semi-final on giant screen  28 Jan 2019- 18:16
Shannon Reynolds | 02 February, 2019, 17:41

Coached by Felix Sanchez, Qatar have scored 16 goals without reply at the tournament so far, and earlier bagged bragging rights over another of their political rivals by beating Saudi Arabia 2-0 during the group stage.

A regional boycott of Qatar, led by Saudi Arabia, has affected the team's logistics at the Asian Cup and made it hard for the country's fans to attend games.

As they celebrated victory and a record sixth clean sheet at a single Asian Cup, shoes were thrown at them and plastic bottles rained down from angry local fans - as they had for every Qatar goal, midfielder Salem Al-Hajri hit on the head after their third.

The Mohamed bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi is expected to be a sellout for the clash between the hosts and their Qatari opponents, as the UAE seek to reach the continental showpiece for only the second time in history.

Playing in Abu Dhabi, the UAE's humiliating 4-0 defeat proved too much for some home fans, who responded by hurling objects including shoes at the Qatar team as they celebrated scoring.

Qatar gave no excuse to the ban which is another confirmation of "malicious discrimination", said the news agency.

UAE coach Alberto Zaccheroni confirmed after the game that he was stepping down.

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"We all made mistakes but everyone did their very best. we have to admit that the Qatar team was better". "This is only a few people that you have to take in consideration".

Qatar had removed the names of Emirati companies from lists of approved vendors for infrastructure projects in "undeclared" ban on the UAE, according to WAM.

"Any incident of this nature will be contained in the official match report which will then be investigated by the AFC", the governing body said. The 22-year-old Ali will have a chance to break the record against Japan on Friday.

Boualem Khoukhi put Qatar, the hosts for the 2022 World Cup, in front in the eighth minute before Almoez Ali increased the lead later in the first half with his eighth goal of the tournament.

UAE nearly pulled a goal back after the interval when Ali Mabkhout's deflected shot forced Saad Al-Sheeb into a fingertip save before substitute Ahmed Khalil also tested Al-Sheeb's reflexes.

"We hope not to stop at the semi-finals and want to continue beyond that", said Ali speaking before the last-four meeting with UAE.

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