Doha, 10 February 2024 - The AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023™ final between Jordan and Qatar is set to be a titanic battle with both teams seeking to create history at the Lusail Stadium on Saturday.
Jordan are aiming to become AFC Asian Cup champions for the first time, while Qatar are striving to be only the fifth nation to win back-to-back titles.
Jordan are in uncharted territory, finding themselves in a major final for the first time but their journey to this stage has been marked by incredible fighting spirit.
Hussein Ammouta’s side showed resilience to edge Iraq in the Round of 16 and Tajikistan in the quarter-finals before producing a sparkling performance to defeat Korea Republic to reach the final.
“We don't need to explain how important the final match is, as both teams want to win a historical title. We prepare for the final as normal, without adding any more pressure on the players, and we hope to produce a performance that reflects our team level, and what we produced to reach the final. This match is very important, and may witness the first major title for Jordan football,” said head coach Ammouta.
“I'm very satisfied with our achievement. It was a personal challenge for me to take Jordan to the final and I have achieved what I aimed for. We will have a full squad despite some minor injuries but the players will be ready.”
Despite having beaten Qatar 2-1 in a pre-tournament friendly, Ammouta said the defending champions will be a formidable challenge, especially with the backing of their fans.
“Qatar are defending champions and playing at home, making them formidable opponents. It's not easy to play against them. It's not easy to achieve what they have done.
“We played a friendly match (before the tournament) and it was challenging to secure the win against Qatar. Despite anticipating difficulty, we are all united in aiming to cross the finish line successfully. We aim to exceed expectations.”
Qatar, in reaching their second successive AFC Asian Cup successive final, have been in terrific form and head coach Marquez Lopez firmly believes his team will deliver their best performance in the final.
“It was a short turnaround, with players having only two days to recover after the semi-final (against Iran) . Rest and recovery were crucial, especially considering we're facing a team we highly respect,” said Lopez.
“I’m confident all my players are more than capable and deserving of playing in this tournament. I have always emphasised knowing each player's strengths and how they can contribute. Every player has played a role in getting us to where we are now. This is a fundamental part of our philosophy.”
Akram Afif, Almoez Ali and Hasan Al Haydos have been inspirational for Qatar and Lopez expressed his gratitude to the trio.
“Players are not machines; they run and play hard. It's normal for their performance to fluctuate. Iran made a comeback and almost scored, but we also had chances to score. No player can maintain peak performance for the entire 90 minutes, but we were giving our best to secure the win."
“In the final, there will always be pressure, especially against a team that has performed well throughout the tournament. However, we are here with the same courage and determination, aspiring only to win. That's what matters most to us.
“Ultimately, competition drives us, and each of us aims to emerge victorious. Ammouta is exceptional, having experience coaching in Qatar. We are determined to compete fiercely and play our best to win the match. Second place will not be enough – we aim to be the best in Asia.”
Jordan v Qatar
Venue: Lusail Stadium (Doha)
Kick-off: 18:00 (UTC+3)