Akram Afif
11/02/2024 06:48 AM
Ahmad Nazrin Syahmi Mohamad Arif
Ahmad Iskandar Kamaruzaman (pix)
11/02/2024 06:48 AM

LUSAIL (Qatar), Feb 10 (Bernama) -- Super striker Akram Afif has dedicated Qatar's 3-1 Asian Cup victory over Jordan - and his hat-trick - in the final tonight to his wife.

The 27-year-old, who plays for Al Sadd in the Qatar Stars League, also revealed that the letter 'S’ on the card that he proudly showed when celebrating each of his three goals was the first letter of his wife's name.

"It (S) is the first letter of my wife's name, she is a Kuwaiti and today is her first time at the (Lusail) stadium, this is her first match. 

"I want to thank and congratulate all the supporters of Qatar and I also want to give all those rewards I received tonight to my wife,” he told the post-match media conference without revealing his wife's full name.

Commenting on all his three penalty goals, which he scored with such aplomb, Afif said his secret is not in the technique but the confidence he gets from the supporters all this while. 

Tonight, Afif was also named the tournament's top scorer with eight goals and was also crowned the Most Valuable Player and Man of the Match.

Afiff was also full of praise for Jordan, saying what coach Hussein Ammouta's men have done is an achievement that they can be proud of, having made history by reaching their first-ever semi-finals and final. 

Meanwhile, Qatar coach Marquez Lopez said although tonight's match may not have been the final everyone expected, he is still happy with the result as it is his first title as a national team coach.

"It was a very tough and tense match. Perhaps it wasn't the beautiful game that all of you had hoped for but I am thrilled with this victory and I am delighted that Afif won all the awards. He deserved all the accolades,” said the 62-year-old Spaniard.

In tonight's 2023 Asian Cup final, Afif scored the first two of his three penalties by planting his right-footed shots to the bottom left corner in the 22nd and 73rd minutes before nailing his third with a right-footed shot to the bottom right corner in injury time (90th+5).

Yazan Al Naimat, meanwhile, scored Jordan's consolation goal in the 67th minute.