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Asian Cup

  • January 13, 2011
  • • 8:15 AM
  • • Ahmed bin Ali Stadium (Al-Rayyan Stadium)(old), Umm al-Afā'ī
  • Referee: Ali Hamad Madhad Saif Al Badwawi
  • • Attendance: 17349
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Jordan 1-0 Saudi Arabia: Al Nashima Stun Green Falcons As Saudi Arabia Crash Out

Jordan 1-0 Saudi Arabia: Al Nashima Stun Green Falcons As Saudi Arabia Crash Out

Saudi Arabia are out of the Asian Cup after their second straight defeat as they became the latest victims of surprise package Jordan.

New Saudi Arabia coach Nasser Al Johar made a losing start in his fourth spell as national team boss as his side were defeated 1-0 by Jordan, sending the three-time winners out of the Asian Cup. A freak goal from Baha'a Abdelrahman just before the break was enough to give Al Nashama a famous victory.

Jordan took the lead in bizarre fashion on 41 minutes. Baha'a Abdelrahman played a seemingly innocuous ball in from the left-hand side. However, the Saudi goalkeeper Walid Abdullah completely misjudged the flight of the cross and his error of judgment proved costly as the Al Faysali midfielder found himself celebrating his maiden international goal.

Saudi Arabia applied pressure from the off and came close to scoring from a corner inside the first minute. However, their best early chance came from Naif Hazazi on 16 minutes, who headed Mohammed Al Shalhoub's pinpoint cross towards goal, forcing Amer Shafi into an outstanding save as he leaped to his left. The young striker then fired narrowly over two minutes later despite appearing to be in an offside position.

The brightest spark for surprise half-time leaders was Odei Al Saify, who was afforded a number of goalscoring opportunities ; the most notable of which came on the stroke of half-time. He ghosted in behind the Saudi defense at the far post but was denied by a sprawling save from Abdullah.

The Green Falcons were frustrated by a supremely well-organized Jordanian rearguard in the second-half. Basem Fathi made a timely interception six minutes after the break to deny Yasser Al Qahtani, who otherwise would have been clean through on goal. Although there was little Jordan's defense could do to stop Nassir Al Shamrani's wonderful run through the defense, their goalkeeper Shafi came to the rescue with a vital save on 75 minutes.

The Saudis threw everything at their opponents in the five allotted minutes of stoppage time but to no avail, as Shafi denied Naif before Saudi's best performer Sauf Kariri headed narrowly over the bar from a near post corner. There was to be no last-minute heartbreak for Adnan Hamad's men, in contrast to the previous game with Japan.

Jordan, who are top of Group B for the time being, face Syria in their final group game on Monday while Saudi Arabia take on Japan.

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