World Cup hosts Qatar stun Japan to win first Asian Cup

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The tournament wrapped up on Friday after Qatar stunned four-time champion Japan 3-1 to win the title for the first time.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan congratulated Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani for winning the Asian Cup after beating four-time champion Japan on Friday.

A spirited second-half display from Japan saw them pulling one back through Takumi Minamino to make it 2-1 but Qatar's goal with seven minutes to go for the final whistle effectively sealed the title for Felix Sanchez coached side.

Japan, whose only previous Asian Cup defeat by Qatar came 31 years ago, mustered little of note, much to the chagrin of their colourful fans among a crowd of 36,000 - several sporting fancy dress, including one hardy soul in an inflatable sumo suit.

"I hope that today's result makes the younger players hungry for success".

"I'm sorry for breaking Mr. Daei's record", a humble Ali said after scoring his ninth of the tournament.

The last news article about the Asian Cup on the Emirates 247 website was about Japan's semifinal match against Iran, held last Monday and the lead up to Qatar's 4-0 win semifinal over the UAE.

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"I don't want to see any stupid things after the game because we are really representing Asia", Southampton defender Yoshida told reporters.

Qatar's 4-0 win over the UAE in the semifinal was particularly hard for the host nation to swallow, but this result proved even more embarrassing with celebrations that lasted all night in Doha.

It also means that resource-rich Qatar are finally making headlines for the right reasons after the turbulence that has surrounded their successful bid to host the World Cup.

"These players, they are incredible in the way they are working and the effort they are putting in to be here and to have this performance".

"We are definitely proud of this", said Ali after the Qatari players had been showered with golden confetti during the trophy ceremony. The decision makers roped in Sanchez as the U-19 national team coach in 2013 and in the following year, the Spaniard guided them to the pole position at the AFC U-19 Championship. I'm very happy for the players and all of the people in Qatar who have supported us from the beginning.

Japan's sustained pressure in the final third paid off soon afterward, however, when Minamino broke through for his first goal of the tournament.

South America is a different proposition and facing Colombia, Paraguay and Argentina will give a much better indicator of just how much work remains to be done for this Qatar side.

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