Asian Cup 2019: A historic title sees Qatar bursting
Liu Ye

The 17th AFC Asian Cup marks Qatar's rise-up at the beginning of 2019. Almoez Ali's record ninth goal set the dark horse a first-time winner while four-time champions Japan suffer bitterness.

An early eliminated from the quarter-finals at the hands of underdogs UAE sends the reigning champions Australia home. An embarrassing quarter-final exit drives Marcello Lippi angry to leave from China. 

No doubt, World Cup 2022 host Qatar sees a bursting in UAE.

Qatar's maiden cup title

Led by Spanish coach Felix Sanchez, a roster of 22 or below team grows up to lead in a surprising and controversy way.

Qatar topped the group in a three-straight-win and then shocked the title-chasing South Korea. They thrashed UAE 4-0 in a semi-final that saw shoes and bottles hurled at Qatari players, however, winning all six games without conceding a single goal to set up the final with Japan.

The running to the title of the tournament will be a remarkable moment and don't forget that Qatar will host the FIFA World Cup in 2022, becoming the first Arab country to do so. 

MVP & Man-of-the-Match: Almoez Ali (Qatar)

Qatar's Almoez Ali poses with the trophy for Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the tournament after winning the Asian Cup, February 1, 2019. /VCG Photo

Qatar's Almoez Ali poses with the trophy for Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the tournament after winning the Asian Cup, February 1, 2019. /VCG Photo

The 22-year-old Al Duhail forward became the first man to score nine goals in a single AFC Asian Cup tournament to break the record of legendary Ali Daei with eight goals in the 1996 UAE Asian Cup.

Ali appreciates what he has achieved for his teammates. It's a historic night for the team and the whole nation.

Best Goalkeeper: Saad Al Sheeb (Qatar)

The 2019 AFC Asian Cup, Best Goalkeeper Award, is the crowning individual achievement of Al Sheeb's decade-long career. He plays a crucial role in Qatar's road to glory, conceding only once in his side's seven matches.

It took a long-time 609 minutes for his perfect record to finally be broken, with a goal from Japan's Takumi Minamino in Qatar's 3-1 win in final. 

Fair play award: Japan

FIFA President Gianni Infantino (2nd, R) gives Maya Yoshida of Japan the Fair Play Award at Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi, UAE, February 1, 2019. /VCG Photo

FIFA President Gianni Infantino (2nd, R) gives Maya Yoshida of Japan the Fair Play Award at Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi, UAE, February 1, 2019. /VCG Photo

Captain Maya Yoshida picked up his side's Fair Play award for the fewest number of cards picked up in the tournament, with a dejected appearance on his face. 

Japan, who breezed through their group before seeing off Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and Iran, last lifted the trophy in 2011 while a debut finalists Qatar broke up Japan's dream to reach a fifth Asian Cup title. 

Top 5 players ranking in goals:

Almoez Ali, Qatar, 9 goals

Eldor Shomurodov, Uzbekistan, 4 goals

Yuya Osako, Japan, 4 goals

Ali Ahmed Mabkhout, UAE, 4 goals

Sardar Azmoun, Iran, 4 goals

You also need to know:

Qatar is the ninth different nation to win the Asian Cup.

Qatar and Japan will both compete in this year's Copa America 2019 as invitees.