Almoez Ali stars as Qatar rout North Korea 6-0

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Al Ain (UAE), Jan 13 (IANS) Four goals by Almoez Ali allowed Qatar to secure a berth in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup last-16 here on Sunday by trouncing North Korea 6-0 in their Group E second-round contest.

Forward Ali’s countryman Akram Afif, who plays for Qatar’s Al Sadd on loan from La Liga’s Villarreal, made four assists, leading their side to a glorious win.

With its second victory in a row, Qatar leads the group standings with six points, ahead of Saudi Arabia on goal difference, while North Korea sits in last place with no points, behind Lebanon on goal difference, reports Efe news.

Ali netted the opener just nine minutes into the match on a left-footed shot from the center of the box, sending the ball to the bottom right corner of the goal, off a cross by teammate Akram Afif.

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Only two minutes later, Ali doubled his side’s lead on a right-footed shot, as he was assisted by Hasan Al Haydos.

Midfielder Boualem Khoukhi made it 3-0 two minutes before the first-half stoppage time on a header seizing on another assist from Afif.

After the break, Ali found North Korea net for a third time in minute 55, stretching Qatar’s lead to 4-0 with a left-footed shot off a third assist from Afif.

Just five minutes later, Ali scored his fourth goal and Qatar’s fifth with a left-footed shot from the left side of the box sending the ball to the bottom right corner, culminating in another assist from Afif following a counterattack.

Qatari defender Abdelkarim Hassan sealed the rout eight minutes after the hour mark with a left-footed shot from the left side of the box off a pass from Ali.

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In the closing minutes, North Korea Midfielder Jong Il-Gwan was sent off, having received his second booking for a foul.

–IANS

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