Qatar opener in Lusail Stadium broke Asian Cup attendance record

January 16 – The AFC Asian Cup 2023 opener witnessed a record-breaking attendance on Friday evening, as the tournament kicked off in spectacular fashion.

Qatar’s Lusail stadium housed more than 82,000 fans for the game that saw hosts and defending champions Qatar convincingly defeat Lebanon 3-0.

The attendance smashed the previous record for an Asian Cup opening game, doubling the attendance of 40,000 in Beijing’s Workers stadium in 2004.

The 3-0 victory was secured through a double contribution from Akram Afif alongside a header from Almoez Ali. Notably, Ali’s goal elevated him to a shared second position in the all-time AFC Asian Cup scoring charts with a total of 10 goals, with more opportunities to add to that tally in the coming weeks.

The match also saw the debut of Semi-Automated Offside Technology (SAOT) in Asian Cup competition, making the AFC the first Confederation in world football to apply the system at the continental Men’s national team level. The SAOT system is viewed as a valuable addition to the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system, which saw its full introduction following a successful debut during the Quarter-final stage in the 2019 tournament held in the United Arab Emirates.

Qatar return to Asian Cup action versus Tajikistan on Wednesday as they look to propel themselves further up the Group A rankings. Whilst Qatar eased past Lebanon in the tournament opener, Tajikistan earned a valuable point against China and proved they are a tough nut to crack.

Contact the writer of this story, Harry Ewing, at moc.l1709087233labto1709087233ofdlr1709087233owedi1709087233sni@g1709087233niwe.1709087233yrrah1709087233

 


Grp AWDLFAPts
Qatar300509
Tajikistan111224
China021021
Lebanon012151
Grp BWDLFAPts
Australia210417
Uzbekistan12415
Syria111114
India003060
Grp CWDLFAPts
Iran210627
UAE111524
Palestine111354
Hong Kong002070
Grp DWDLFAPts
Iraq300849
Japan201846
Indonesia102363
Vietnam003480
Grp EWDLFAPts
Bahrain201536
Korea120865
Jordan111634
Malaysia012381
Grp FWDLFAPts
Saudi Arabia210417
Thailand120205
Oman021232
Krygz Rep012151