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Qatar's Asian Cup win shows that possession could be poison in international football

Qatar carved out a piece of footballing history for themselves on Friday, winning the AFC Asian Cup for the first time in a 3-1 upset win over four-time winners Japan in Abu Dhabi, UAE .

From the universality of Total Football to the Petrosian-like stoutness of Jose Mourinho, it has always been said football has an evolutionary or permutable quality.

Rules have sometimes influenced dominant tactics, much like changes to offside laws creating the W-M formation, or the back-pass rule facilitating the implementation of targeted pressing and higher defensive lines.

More often than not, however, tactical shifts and trends are based on ideology.

And so when Qatar comfortably defeated...

Qatar defeat Japan to secure first-ever Asian Cup crown

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Qatar carved out a piece of footballing history for themselves on Friday, winning the AFC Asian Cup for the first time in a 3-1 upset win over four-time winners Japan in Abu Dhabi, UAE .

Almoez Ali scored with a spectacular overhead kick for a record ninth goal of the Asian Cup to set Qatar on their way to a first continental title with a stunning 3-1 win over four-times champions Japan on Friday.

Ali's early goal took him past Ali Daei's 1996 tally and, combined with a 27th minute strike from Abdulaziz Hatem and a late Akram Afif penalty, helped the Qataris make an emphatic statement ahead of their hosting of the 2022 World Cup.

Sudan-born Ali's record goal came after a protest...

Borussia Dortmund's Shinji Kagawa joins Besiktas on loan

Shinji Kagawa, who joined Dortmund in 2010, will spend the rest of the season on loan at Besiktas.

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Shinji Kagawa has joined Turkey's Besiktas on loan until the end of the season, the Bundesliga leaders said on Thursday.

A Bundesliga winner with Dortmund in 2011 and 2012, the 29-year-old Japan international was originally signed for €350,000 from Cerezo Osaka in Japan's second division in 2010.

He had a two-year spell at Manchester United from 2012-14 before returning to the Ruhr valley club.

He has struggled to secure playing time under coach Lucien Favre this...