LUSAIL, Qatar (AP) — Akram Afif has produced some magical performances during the Asian Cup. And after firing Qatar into a 1-0 lead in Saturday's final against Jordan, he did likewise with his celebration.
The forward scored his sixth goal of the tournament from the penalty spot at Lusail Stadium after being brought down by Abdallah Nasib in the first half.
After seeing the ball hit the back of the net, he marked the moment with a close-up magic trick.
Running toward a camera, he pulled out a collectors' card with his image on it. Shaking his hand, the picture changed to reveal an ‘S’.
A slow-motion replay gave his trick away, with images showing the card had a fold, which flipped over to change the image.
Later he said it was a tribute to his wife.
“S is the first letter of my wife's name,” he said. “It was her first time at the stadium.”
Afif, who went on to score a hat trick of penalties as Qatar won 3-1 and secured back-to-back Asian Cup titles, did not reveal his wife's full name , but continued his tributes afterward.
“I would like to give all those rewards to my wife,” he said after finishing as the tournament's leading scorer with eight goals and being named its most valuable player.
AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer