Jordan’s journey from AFC Asian Cup qualification to the final

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Jordan’s journey from Asian Cup qualification to the final

After a remarkable campaign so far with many ups and downs, Jordan is set to face Qatar in the AFC Asian Cup final. Here’s how the underdog team made it to its first final at a major international tournament.

After not winning a single game in 2023, Jordan were not in the best of form and were inches away from going home after the group stage, although they barely managed to reach the knockouts.

qualifying round

Jordan was given direct entry into that round of the qualification process where it was in Group B. After finishing third, she qualified for the third round of qualification.

A total of 24 teams participated in the third round of qualification where Jordan was drawn with Indonesia, Kuwait and Nepal. By topping their group, Jordan successfully secured a place in the AFC Asian Cup 2024.

group stage

Jordan was in Group E with Bahrain, Malaysia and Korea Republic. The Arab team made a strong start to the tournament after an impressive 4-0 win over Malaysia, although they had to settle for an impressive draw against Son Heung-min-led heavyweights Korea Republic.

Jordan’s worst defeat of the tournament came in its third match of the group stage when it suffered defeat against Bahrain with Abdullah Youssef Helal’s only goal separating the two sides.

Despite finishing only third in their group, Jordan made it to the knockout rounds by becoming one of the four best third-placed teams of the tournament.

knockout stage

Jordan took part in one of the most exciting matches in the Round of 16 of the Asian Cup this year and fortunately, he got the big end of the game.

In their game against Iraq, Jordan opened the scoring in first-half extra time, but Iraq took the lead in the second 45 minutes with two goals in the space of eight minutes through Suad Natik and Ayman Hussein.

From the 77th minute, Iraq had to play one player down as Hussein was sent off after accumulating two yellow cards.

Jordan used this advantage and scored two important stoppage time goals in the 90+5 and 90+7 minutes, leading to his remarkable comeback to the quarter-finals.

Jordan had previously been eliminated twice at the quarterfinal stage, but this time the situation was in their favor as an own goal by Tajikistan’s Vahdat Hanonov in the 66th minute secured Jordan a place in the semi-finals.

Jordan was already the second favorite in the semi-final, as it was the Arab country’s first time and having Korea as its opponent made the challenge even more difficult.

South Korea’s forward #09 Cho Gyu-sung fights for the ball with Jordan’s defender #03 Abdullah Nassib during the Qatar 2023 AFC Asian Cup semi-final football match between Jordan and South Korea at the Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium in Al-Rayyan, West Are. Doha 6 February 2024 | Photo Credit: Hector Retamal

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South Korea’s forward #09 Cho Gyu-sung fights for the ball with Jordan’s defender #03 Abdullah Nassib during the Qatar 2023 AFC Asian Cup semi-final football match between Jordan and South Korea at the Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium in Al-Rayyan, West Are. Doha 6 February 2024 | Photo Credit: Hector Retamal

Korea had drawn against Jordan in the group stage, but Jordan caused the biggest upset of the tournament with an impressive 2–0 win over world number 23 Korea.

Korea, who were favorites to win the Asian Cup, failed to get a single shot on target against this revolutionary Jordan team led by Moroccan coach Hussein Ammouta.

Jordan were on the brink of elimination early on but came from deep and established themselves as worthy finalists of the AFC Asian Cup.


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