QQatar produced the most famous moment in its sporting history Friday after defeating Japan 3-1 in the final of the Asian Cup.
In a tournament that has been as much about the geopolitical struggle in the region as much as the football itself, Qatar secured the sweetest of triumphs courtesy of goals from the competition’s top scorer Almoez Ali, Abdelaziz Hatim and Akram Hassan Afif.
To win the title was perhaps unexpected, but to do so in the United Arab Emirates, one of the countries to join with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt in breaking off relations with Qatar in June 2017, is likely to feel even more satisfying for those in Doha.
While Qatar’s participation in the tournament was ostensibly about football, the talk throughout has often steered away from the sport and instead centered on the political and diplomatic strife in the region.
Qatar’s 4-0 win over the UAE in the semifinal was particularly difficult for the host nation to swallow, but this result is likely to prove even more embarrassing with celebrations likely to last all night in Doha.