LIVE: Japan v Qatar | Asian Cup Final 2019
Japan are a pretty short-looking to win this match in 90 minutes. Two main reasons for that. No side has won the Asian Cup more often than them (four times) so they know what it takes to get over the line once they’ve negotiated their way to the final.And on top of that, a resounding 3-0 win over Iran, who were hot favorites to win that game after not having conceded a goal the whole tournament, suggests that they’re peaking at just the right time.
Similar to the last few World Cups, a surprise contender here or there can come from nowhere to make a semi or even the final (Croatia, for example) but going all the way is normally reserved for the favorites.
Qatar were well behind in the betting at the start but have brushed off their ‘dark horses’ tag to play like they were hot favorites.
How’s this for a perfect record at a competitive tournament? They’ve played six matches, scored 16 goals and not conceded any.
Their excellent record at the back is what tempted me to tip them to win to nil against hosts UAE ahead of the semi-final but I certainly didn’t expect them to go out and win 4-0.
They probably won’t be too aware that they’rev outsiders to win in 90 minutes but they’ll certainly be aware that they’re underdogs. And that will suit them just fine; they have nothing to lose.