Posted on January 14, 2011

Yusef Ahmed struck twice   including an early contender for goal of the tournament as Qatar kept their AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011 hopes alive with a crucial 2-0 victory over China on Wednesday. Ahmed broke the deadlock in the Group A clash with an exquisite piece of skill after 27 minute at Khalifa Stadium before adding his and Qatar's second in first-half stoppage time to reignite the hosts' hopes of reaching the last eight.

It was China who had the first chance of the night after only six minutes when Deng Zhouxiang met Rong Hao's cross from the left but his header was comfortably gathered by goalkeeper Qasem Burhan.
Ahmed then tried his luck with a shot from outside the area four minutes later before Sebastian Soria fired wide of the left upright as Qatar looked to make an early breakthrough.

China stepped up the pressure in response and Gao Lin tested Burhan in the 17th minute while Zhao Peng headed wide eight minutes later.

Ahmed was off target shortly afterwards before opening the scoring in spectacular fashion when the striker cushioned a long ball over the top with his thigh before rifling a volley into the top corner all in one movement, leaving China keeper Zeng Cheng a helpless spectator.

Qatar threatened to double their advantage in the 31st minute when Soria drove into space but shot wide before Yu Hai's effort from inside the box was saved by Burhan at the other end three minutes later.
The hosts did conjure the all-important second goal in first-half stoppage time and it was again Ahmed who was on target when, after collecting the ball with his back to goal, he turned and fired a shot from the edge of the area between Du Wei's legs and beyond Zeng's outstretched hand to establish a useful cushion at the interval.
The second-half began in more low-key fashion and China had to wait until the 61st minute to threaten the Qatar goal only for Yang Xu's shot to fly wide of the right post.

Qatar could have added a third four minutes later but Soria could not hit the target before two-goal hero Ahmed was replaced by Jarallah Al Marri to a standing ovation from the home crowd.

Deng Zhouxiang forced Burhan to tip a free-kick over the bar in the 69th minute but although China pressed for a route back into the game in the dying stages, they were unable to breach the home defence and Qatar closed out a vital victory