The Qatar team, winner of the eighth West Asia Football Federation Championship, celebrates with the trophy at Al Sadd Stadium in Doha yesterday. The hosts defeated Jordan 2-0 in the final. Boualem Khoukhi scored both goals.
Doha: Two Second half goals from Boualem Koukhi helped Qatar to down Jordan 2-0 and win the maiden West Asia Football Federation (WAFF) Championship here at the Al Sadd Stadium here yesterday.
After a goalless first half, hosts Qatar took the lead in the 55th minute thorugh Kouki and the midfielder put the issue beyond doubt by scoring the second one in the 87th minute.
This was the third consecutive double by the hard working Algerian born. He scored twice against Saudi in the group stage and repeated the ame feat against Kuwait in the semi-final to emerge as teh highest scorer of the tournament.
“I am happy for the team as we won the title. It was a good tournament for the growth of the football in the region as it has provided a platform to the young talent,” Qatar coach Djamel Belmadi said.
The former Algerian international said the boys showed their true potential by winning the tournament.
“At the moment my future is not that important. The most important thing was to perform to our best of the abilities and we did it.”
Qatar took the lead as Kouki’s curling free kick sailed over the defensive wall and eluded a leaping Jordan keeper and lodged into the right corner of the goal.
The second one for the 23-year-old midfielder came about when he tapped a cross from Mohammed Ismail past the rival keeper.
“He is the best player of the side and he performed to the level and the expectations,” Belmadi said in response to his consistent performance throughout the championship.
Qatar’s striker Ali Asad was declared best player of the tournament, while Boualem Koukhi was adjudged best goal scorer. Bahrain goal-keeper Syed Mohammed Abbas was adjudged best goal-keeper of the championship.
Earlier in the day Bahrain defeated Kuwait 3-2 in a penalty shout out to finish third in the championship. Bahrain finished fourth in the last edition of the championship. Both the teams failed to scored in the regular time and the extra time was also goalless. THE PENINSULA