The 2023 AFC Asian Cup final takes place at the Lusail Stadium on Saturday. We preview the encounter, featuring our Jordan vs Qatar prediction via the Opta supercomputer.
Jordan vs Qatar Pre-Match Facts
- Qatar are predicted to win their second consecutive Asian Cup title by the Opta supercomputer – they won inside 90 minutes across 38.4% of pre-match simulations.
- This will be the first ever fixture between Jordan and Qatar in the AFC Asian Cup. Overall, Jordan have lost just one of their last five internationals against Qatar (W2 D2).
- This is just the third AFC Asian Cup final where both teams are Arab, with the previous two instances being Iraq v Saudi Arabia in 2007 and Saudi Arabia v United Arab Emirates in 1996.
- Qatar are unbeaten in their last 13 AFC Asian Cup games, winning 12 of them in regulation time; they are one win away from becoming just the fifth country to win the tournament in consecutive editions after South Korea (1956 and 1960), Iran (1968, 1972 and 1976), Saudi Arabia (1984 and 1988) and Japan (2000 and 2004).
- Teams have managed a passing accuracy of just 66.4% against Qatar in the 2023 AFC Asian Cup, the lowest of any side. In comparison, Jordan have allowed opposing teams to register a passing accuracy of 83.3%, fifth highest of all teams.
- Jordan have scored five goals from outside the box in the 2023 AFC Asian Cup, the most by any side in a single edition since Uzbekistan in 2011 (also 5); Jordan have scored 12 goals in this edition from an expected goals (xG) total of 7.9, with their xG differential of 4.1 being the highest of any team in the 2023 tournament.
- Jordan manager Hussein Ammouta is the third Arab coach to reach the AFC Asian Cup final after Saudi Arabia’s Khalil Al-Zayani in 1984 (champion) and his compatriot Nasser Al-Johar in 2000 (runner-up).
The 2023 AFC Asian Cup final will take place this Saturday, with host nation Qatar looking to seal back-to-back titles following their previous success in 2019. Standing in their way are tournament underdogs Jordan, who will play in their first Asian Cup final after never previously making it past the quarter-final stage of the tournament.
Under the astute guidance of coach Hussein Ammouta, Jordan have surged to the final of the Asian Cup with a blend of resilience and determination.
Their campaign kicked off with a resounding 4-0 victory against Malaysia in the group stage, setting the tone for their tournament aspirations. A hard-fought 2-2 draw against powerhouse South Korea showcased Jordan’s ability to compete at this level, however a narrow 1-0 loss to Bahrain in their final group match served as a minor setback. Undeterred, Jordan rallied in the knockout stages.
Their last-16 clash was arguably one of the most dramatic seen at the tournament as they won 3-2 against Iraq in normal time, despite trailing as late as the 94th minute. With Iraq down to 10 men, Jordan capitalised with an equaliser from Yazan Al-Arab in the 95th minute and a winner shortly after from Nizar Al-Rashdan.
In the quarter-finals, Jordan displayed grit and composure to edge past Tajikistan with a narrow 1-0 victory to set up a semi-final clash with South Korea – their second meeting in the tournament after the entertaining 2-2 group stage clash. In a stunning upset, Jordan emerged triumphant with a commanding 2-0 win thanks to second-half goals from Yazan Al-Naimat and Musa Al-Taamari, proving their mettle on the grand stage.
With a blend of attacking prowess and defensive solidity, Jordan have defied expectations and marched into the final of this tournament. Under the leadership of coach Ammouta, they will look to capitalise on their momentum and clinch the coveted title in a historic showdown.
Jordan in possession often look like a 4-2-4 with the two centre-midfielders Raja’ei Ayed and Al-Rashdan taking up central positions to assist the back-four build and protect them in any transition moments. Much of their play seems asymmetrical in that they build play down the left side of the pitch to open up space for Al-Taamari on the right. This enables him to move higher and wider further up the pitch, becoming a key outlet for diagonal balls that allow him to engage in 1v1s with the opposition’s left-back.
Qatar’s remarkable journey in the AFC Asian Cup has seen them progress to the final with an impressive display of skill and resilience. Under the stewardship of coach Tintín Márquez, who took charge just a month before the tournament, Qatar have ridden the wave of home expectations and are on the verge of retaining the Asian Cup – the last nation to do that were Japan in 2004.
Their group stage dominance was evident as they topped their section without conceding a single goal. Victories against Lebanon (3-0), Tajikistan (1-0), and China (1-0) set the tone for their campaign, while in the knockout stages, they continued their winning streak with a 2-1 triumph over Palestine in the round of 16.
A tense quarter-final encounter against Uzbekistan saw Qatar emerge victorious on penalties after a 1-1 draw, setting up a showdown with Iran in the semi-finals. In a thrilling match, Qatar secured a hard-fought 3-2 win, showcasing their character and spirit.
Despite facing tough opposition, Qatar maintained their composure, with Akram Afif leading the charge with his early goal and instrumental contribution to the team’s attacking prowess. In an encounter that saw over 13 minutes of added time in the second half, Qatar weathered the storm and held on for victory, booking their spot in the final for the second consecutive tournament. With a chance to become back-to-back champions, Qatar will look to seize the moment and etch their names in Asian Cup history.
In the semi-final against Iran, Qatar started in a 4-4-2 out of possession and seemingly a 4-2-3-1 in possession, with Akram Afif roaming behind the striker. This was quite different from their usual 3-5-2 shape in previous matches and possibly used to match up man for man against the Iranians. Later in the semi-final, the Qatari’s switched back to their usual 5-3-2 to increase their defensive solidity.
Both Qatar’s Afif and Jordan’s Al-Taamari have evolved into key players for their respective sides between the 2019 edition of the Asian Cup and now.
The Qatari forward has contributed to 19 goals in 13 AFC Asian Cup matches (six goals and 13 assists), averaging a goal or an assist every 60 minutes, while also having created 41 chances for teammates. Afif tops the charts for both of those metrics since the 2007 edition, when Opta started collecting this data.
Both players are threatening when running with the ball at their feet. No player has attempted more shots following a ball carry at this tournament than Afif (5), while Al-Taamari has created the most chances following a carry (8). The Jordan winger has 32 take-ons at these finals, too – that tally is only bettered by South Korea star Lee Kang-in (34). Overall, Al-Taamari has made seven goal contributions in the AFC Asian Cup (four goals and three assists), the most by any Jordanian player in tournament history.
Afif’s goals have been crucial in Qatar’s journey to this final, with five scored at the tournament. Another goal will draw him level with Iraq’s Aymen Hussein at the top of the 2023 chart, with the possibility of a Qatari player winning the tournament top scorer award for a second edition in a row following Almoez Ali’s nine goals in 2019.
Jordan vs Qatar Head-to-Head
This will be the first ever fixture between Jordan and Qatar in the AFC Asian Cup.
They have already met in an international in 2024, though, with Jordan beating Qatar 2-1 in a pre-tournament friendly. Al-Naimat and an Ali Olwan penalty helped them come from behind after Afif had given Qatar the lead from the spot early in the game. Overall, Jordan have lost just one of their last five internationals against Qatar (W2 D2).
This is just the third AFC Asian Cup final where both teams are Arab, with the previous two instances being Iraq v Saudi Arabia in 2007 and Saudi Arabia v United Arab Emirates in 1996.
Jordan vs Qatar Prediction
The Opta supercomputer gives host nation Qatar the advantage in this AFC Asian Cup final match, with the Qataris the more likely side to win the match inside 90 minutes. Ahead of kick-off, they won 38.4% of simulations without needing extra time compared to Jordan’s win rate of 34.8% – a very close call.
Across those 10,000 simulations, over a quarter (26.8%) went to extra time with the scores level after the 90 minutes were up.
Jordan vs Qatar Squads
Jordan: Abdallah Al Fakhouri, Ahmad Al Juaidi, Yazeed Abulaila, Salem Al Ajalin, Anas Bani Yaseen, Ehsan Haddad, Mohammad Abu Hasheesh, Feras Shilbaya, Yazan Al Arab, Mohannad Abu Taha, Bara’a Marie, Abdallah Nasib, Mohammad Abu Zraiq, Raja’ei Ayed, Mahmoud Al Mardi, Nizar Al Rashdan, Fadi Awad, Yousef Abu Jalboush, Noor Al Rawabdeh, Saleh Ratib, Ibrahim Saadeh, Hamza Al Dardour, Ali Olwan, Yazan Al Naimat, Anas Al Awadat, Mousa Tamari.
Coach: Hussein Ammouta
Qatar: Saad Al Sheeb, Meshaal Barsham, Salah Zakaria, Bassam Al Rawi, Almahdi Ali, Pedro Miguel, Tarek Salman, Lucas Mendes, Homam Ahmed, Boualem Khoukhi, Sultan Al Brake, Abdulaziz Hatem, Jassem Gaber, Ahmed Fathy, Mohammed Waad, Mostafa Meshaal, Ali Asad, Ahmed Al Ganehi, Khaled Mohammed, Ismaeel Mohammad, Ahmed Alaa, Almoez Ali, Akram Afif, Khalid Muneer, Yusuf Abdurisag, Hassan Al Haydos.
Coach: Tintín Márquez