AFC Asian Cup: Tournament Review

Recap all the action from the Asian Cup on 10 Play

Another Asian Cup tournament is in the history books following a spectacular final on Sunday morning (AEDT) between first-timers Jordan and reigning champions Qatar.

There were plenty of memorable moments throughout the month long competition which saw some nations rise to the occasion and claim the scalps of some of Asia's heavyweights.

It is time to touch on some of the biggest talking points from the tournament. Don't forget that you can relive all the action from the tournament below with all the highlights available to stream on demand on our AFC Asian Cup Hub on 10 Play.

AFC Asian Cup: Important Links

Cup favourites falter in the Group Stages

No matter what sport, there will always be spectators rooting for the underdog. This tournament was no different with supporters treated to a number of surprise results.

The group stages showed us that no nation can be taken for granted with many of the lower ranked countries managing to pull of some amazing results that reverberated around the football world.

Iraq stole headlines with their win over Japan in the group stages

Two nations in particular, Iraq & Jordan (which will be discussed further in the piece), were the most talked about with the former winning all three of their group stage matches which included a dominant victory against Japan.

Meanwhile, eventual finalists Jordan were one of the best third placed finishers and they first turned heads with their stalemate with Korea Republic, a side they would go on to face again in the semi final.

Tajikistan also had an Asian Cup to remember with the 106th ranked side in the world making it out of the group stage before knocking out a title contender in the round of 16.

Full steam ahead in the knockouts

Japan and Korea Republic's shortcomings in the group stage saw them finish second in their respective groups which had quite big ramifications for the knockout stages.

Heung Min Son's side were dealt a round of 16 clash with Saudi Arabia which they successfully managed to navigate while Japan were also up for it against Bahrain.

Tajikistan were one of the surprise packages of the tournament

Elsewhere, Tajikistan saw off the UAE on penalties, Jordan were too good for Iraq, Qatar took care of Palestine and the Socceroos made light work of Indonesia.

AFC Asian Cup: Tajikistan vs United Arab Emirates Highlights

AFC Asian Cup: Iraq vs Jordan Highlights

It was in the quarter finals that we really got to witness some major upsets. Tournament favourites Japan were bundled out by Iran, Qatar required penalties to overcome Uzbekistan, Jordan beat Tajikistan by the odd goal while it was a painful one for the Socceroos.

AFC Asian Cup: Iran vs Japan Highlights

AFC Asian Cup: Tajikistan vs Jordan Highlights

After Craig Goodwin opened the scoring against Korea Republic just before half time, Graham Arnold's side looked odds on to progress before a penalty in the sixth minute of second half stoppage time forced the match into extra time.

With momentum on their side, Korea Republic popped up with the winner and for the second match running came back from the death to secure their passage into the next round.

Socceroos vs Korea Republic: Full Match Replay

Socceroos vs Korea Republic: Highlights

Then there were four: Jordan, Korea Republic, Iran and Qatar

The possibilities of a new Asian Cup champion was slowly becoming a reality with Jordan entering unchartered territory, meanwhile South Korea and Iran had not lifted the trophy since 1960 and 1976, respectively.

Jordan had an Asian Cup campaign to remember

The Jordan vs Korea Republic match was the first cab off the rank. A defiant, resolute display from Jordan proved too much to handle for their opponents that evening as they got the job done against a side ranked over 50 places higher than them.

Jordan vs Korea Republic: Full Match Replay

Jordan vs Korea Republic: Highlights

A day later, Iran and Qatar took to the pitch to decide who would meet Jordan in the Final. Iran took the lead early on before a revival from the host nation saw them keep their dream of back-to-back Asian Cups alive with their 3-2 triumph.

Iran vs Qatar: Highlights

AFC Asian Cup Final: Jordan vs Qatar

Few would have predicted that Jordan would be lining up in the Asian Cup Final at Lusail Stadium, but after a number of eye catching displays they firmly made the case to be there in the do-or-die clash.

They had the odds stacked up against them with Qatar calling upon the support of their nation as they seeked back-to-back Asian Cup titles.

An Akram Afif masterclass from the penalty spot was enough to seal Jordan's fate as the host nation sealed the Asian Cup trophy in front of their adoring fans.

AFC Asian Cup Final: Full Match Replay

AFC Asian Cup Final: Highlights

Akram Afif scored three from the penalty spot to win the Final for Qatar