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01st Feb 2019

WATCH: Qatar score wondergoal to take the lead against Japan in Asian Cup final

Qatar took the lead against Japan early on in today's AFC Asian Cup final with a stunning overhead kick from striker Almoez Ali

Reuben Pinder

Somehow, Qatar are really good at football

Despite having absolutely no footballing heritage whatsoever, the nation set to host the 2022 World Cup have become decent at football seemingly overnight. Having reached the final of this year’s AFC Asian Cup, Qatar raced into an early lead after just 12 minutes, as Almoez Ali, who hails from Sudan, pulled off a spectacular overhead kick.

As play was spread wide, Ali cleverly anticipated the cross dropping behind him, and killed the ball with a deft touch, before teeing himself up for a stunning volley, all without the ball touching the ground.

The goalkeeper probably could have done better, but take nothing away from this goal. It was brilliant.

The Qataris doubled their lead just 15 minutes later through Abdulaziz Hatem, also of Sudanese descent. They went on to win the final 3-1, after Takumi Minamino got one back for Japan but Akram Afif confirmed Qatar’s victory with a 83rd minute penalty.

Am I saying Qatar are effectively buying the loyalty of players from neighbouring countries in order to be competitive in football? I couldn’t possibly comment.

Am I saying it’s odd for Qatar to be comfortably beating a team that beat Colombia in the World Cup? Again, I may or may not be saying words to that effect.

But what is certain, is that this goal was a banger. That can’t be denied. So kudos to Almoez Ali, and the rich footballing nation of Qatar.

Qatar will host the 2022 World Cup in just under four year’s time. It will be the first time the tournament will be held during the winter months, due to the unfathomably high temperatures the country experiences during the summer, which I’m sure you’ll agree is a great idea.

I, for one, am looking forward to Harry Kane looking the colour of a tomato after pressing the Spanish back four for ten minutes, drink breaks every fifteen minutes, and there being absolutely no alcohol on site. That’s what the World Cup is all about, isn’t it? Sucking the fun out of everything. Anyway, good goal wasn’t it?