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Mystery: Qatar head coach's prophecy about Akram Afif before the match against UAE

Mystery: Qatar head coach's prophecy about Akram Afif before the match against UAE

One day ahead of the game between Qatar and UAE, manager Felix Sanchez Bas predicted the impressive form of striker Akram Afif.

In the final game of 2019 Gulf Cup's group stage, Akram Afif scored two goals for Qatar in eight minutes of the first half.

The striker, who is currently playing for Al Sadd on loan from Villarreal, was the highest-rated player of Qatar against UAE. But it seemed that his form was prophesied by the head coach of Qatar national football team.

At the post-match conference, team manager Felix Sanchez said: "Afif did not play well in the first match, but he scored a goal against Yemen while assisting another one".

"Although Abdul Karim was the man of that game when he scored a hat-trick, I believe Afif can do something against UAE to help us get three points. It is a very important match for us because we must win to advance to the semi-finals".

As Felix Sanchez expected, Afif had an unforgettable performance in the last game of the group stage. His double, along with Hassan Al Heidos's and Boualem Khoukhi's goals, helped Qatar defeat UAE by 4-2.

With two impressive victories in the preliminary round, the host nation regained the confidence to conquer the Gulf Cup. Only by doing that can they prepare well before the 2022 World Cup starts.

In the case of Akram Afif, his impressive true form in the Gulf Cup explained why he was voted the best Asian player in 2019. At 23, he will have more chances to prove himself in the future.