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2019 AFC Asian Cup Review: Qatar Prevail amidst Difficult Odds

The recently-concluded 2019 Asian Cup was chock full of surprises and drama. Here’s how it all went down, all the way to Qatar’s final win.

While there’s no question that last Friday’s 2019 AFC Asian Cup final, wherein Qatar defeated the widely-fancied Japan 3-1, was an absolutely stupendous way to start off the month of February, in reality, it was really just the culmination of an extremely heated tournament whose matchups would turn out to be as unpredictable as they were exciting. The other favorites, of course, such as South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Australia, still figured quite prominent in the fixtures after the group stage, but it was definitely the sort of competition that kept fans guessing until the very last minute.

So for those of you out there who were unable to follow all of the month-long tournament’s action from start to finish, as well as for fans who are wanting a clearer look at the 2019 AFC Asian Cup’s bigger picture, here’s a recap of how everything unfolded, right from opening day, in a more condensed form.

Rocky starts for several favorites

As is usually the case going into a big tournament, it was the more established teams whom many fans had pegged to hit the ground running. Defending champions Australia, naturally, were among those quite heavily favored, as were Japan, Saudi Arab...

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