Doha, Qatar: Substitute Mohammad Al Mannai headed the last-gasp winner as hosts Qatar edged Jordan 2-1 in thriller to become the first side to reach the quarter-finals of AFC U23 Asian Cup Qatar 2024 yesterday.

Al Mannai, who came off the bench in 86th minute, rose to head the Jassem Al Sharshani’s cross from a set piece in 13th minute of stoppage time as VAR confirmed the all-important goal to send home fans into raptures at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium.

"We knew it would be a difficult match and I must congratulate the players for their efforts," Qatar head coach Ilidio Vale said after the win.

"Now we will shift our focus on the next match as we want to maintain our winning form."

It was a hard fought victory for Qatar as Jordan, who played a draw against Australia, put up a strong fight attacking early in the match in search of their first win.

Jordan’s Baker Kalbouneh and Sief Darwish both saw their attempts blocked before Qatar responded through Moustafa Mashal, whose header was held by Jordan goalkeeper Ahmad Juaidi in 21st minute.

Jordan looked a better side in the first half but they paid for lack of accuracy in the final third as Qatar went ahead five minutes before half-time, with Abdulla Alyazidi’s attempted cross landing in far corner.

Jordan managed to come back in the match with Aref Haitham scoring the equaliser from the spot, sending Qatar goalkeeper Yousef Abdullah the other way in 52nd minute, after Naif Al Hadrami was penalised for a foul against Amer Jamous.

After Haitham squandered a golden opportunity before the added time, substitutes Al Mannai and Al Sharshani combined to take the home team into the quarter-finals.

Qatar, who are leading Group A with six points, will meet Australia in their last group match on Sunday at the same venue. Jordan, who are third with a solitary point, will square off with Indonesia at Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium the same day.

Earlier, Komang Teguh’s header late in the first half proved enough to give debutants Indonesia a 1-0 victory over Australia at Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium, as they bounced back from 2-0 defeat to hosts Qatar in the opening match.

Teguh’s winner from a close range came in 45th minute with Indonesia goalkeeper Ernando Ari Sutaryadi also playing crucial role in the win, blocking a Mohamed Toure’s spot kick by diving to his left in the 25th minute of the first half.

Ernando thwarted another Toure effort in the 52nd minute with a fine stop to his right as Indonesia retained their lead to score their first points in the tournament.

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