Qatar has won the Asian Cup by beating four-time winner Japan 3-1 on Friday, and achieving its first victory in a major international tournament.

The Maroons landed at Doha’s old airport on Friday, after traveling via Oman as direct flights between Qatar and Asian Cup host UAE remain banned due to a 20-month blockade imposed by several Gulf countries. Upon landing, the players where welcomed by Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.

The players then paraded through the streets of Doha on an open-top bus, cheered by thousands of fans, Qatari residents and expats.

“I am proud to make these people happy” said Ali Almoez, who opened the score with a spectacular goal in the 12th minute and became the tournament’s top scorer with nine goals.

The victory will give Qatar renewed confidence in competing against the world’s top football teams at the 2022 World Cup, which it will be hosting.

 

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