Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Sandal-throwing UAE fans mars Qatar's crushing win

Qatar punished unwelcoming hosts United Arab Emirates 4-0 in a politically charged clash marred by disgraceful crowd behaviour on Tuesday to reach their first Asian Cup final.

The Qataris, whose national anthem was drowned by boos before the game, face Japan in Friday's final after goals from Boualem Khoukhi, Almoez Ali, Hasan Al-Haydos and Hamid Ismaeil sealed victory for the 2022 World Cup hosts amid ugly scenes in Abu Dhabi.

Some 42,000 fans at Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium looked downbeat as Qatar fired two goals in each half in what was an electrifying performance from coach Felix Sanchez's side.

When Bualem Khoukhi opened the scoring in the 22nd minute, some UAE fans threw water bottles but when Almoez Ali fired a beauty in the 37th, it all turned ugly.

Fans throw bottles and flip-flops at the pitch during the 2019 AFC Asian Cup semi-final football match between Qatar and UAE at the Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on January 29, 2019. / AFP / Giuseppe CACACE

UAE fans started throwing footwear and water bottles at Almoez who was stopped from celebrating his record-breaking strike.

In the second half, captain Hassan Al Haydos was seemingly hit by a water bottle when the Qatar captain fired his side's third goal. Even UAE players urged Qatari players not to overdo with the celebrations sensing the disgusting behaviour of the home fans.

In the dying seconds, substitute Hamid Ismail made it 4-0 for Qatar. After the final whistle, Qatar players were urged to quietly move into the team locker-room whereas Qatar coach Sanchez went about for quick handshakes with the UAE players.

Qatar, who had never gone beyond the quarter-finals of the Asian Cup, will now meet Japan in the final of the tournament set for Friday.

(Source: The Peninsula)

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