At the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium on Tuesday, Jordan defeated South Korea 2-0 in their Asian Cup semi-final. Goals in the second half from Yazan al-Naimat and Musa al-Taamari gave Jordan their first-ever trip to the final.
South Korea, the third-best team in Asia, is ranked 64 places above Jordan, who are ranked 87th in the world, so the outcome was a stunning upset for Jordan. When the two teams faced off in the group stage, Naimat had scored in the 2-2 draw. With his deft footwork and Taamari’s relentless running, the 24-year-old was once again the tormentor in chief.
In a goalless first half, Naimat had the best an open door to score for Jordan when he skipped beyond three defenders in the box, yet his shot was hit directly at goalkeeper Jo Hyeon-charm who made a reflex save.
At the opposite end, Lee Jae-sung almost opened the scoring for South Korea when Child Heung-min sent a cross into the box yet the midfielder’s header fell off the post to give Jordan a relief.
However Jordan at last found the advancement when Taamari caught an unfortunate back pass in midfield and found Naimat with a protection parting pass for the forward to chip the ball over the manager and score his third objective of the tournament.
Taamari had been the most active player on the pitch and he picked his second to sparkle when he made a performance run beyond a static guard and twisted his work past the manager to send Jordan’s fans among the 42,850 in the field into joy.
South Korea mentor Jürgen Klinsmann had no solution to Jordan’s press and liquid assaults as the German remained on the touchline, watching his group exit the tournament without a solitary shot on track in the semi-last.
South Korea had made a propensity for scoring late objectives in the tournament however there was no rebound this time as Jordan kept them under control to book their spot in the last, where they will confront either Iran or has and reigning champs Qatar.
“The players conveyed a courageous execution. The X-factor was we didn’t have to give South Korea more regard than required,” Jordan’s Moroccan mentor Hussein Ammouta said. “In light of their record in their last couple of games, they surrendered objectives and we realized it was feasible to score against them, that was the defining moment.”
Klinsmann said he acknowledged liability regarding South Korea’s exit yet didn’t propose to leave. “Clearly we’re disheartened. We had the major objective of playing in the last; however Jordan merits this success, they have the right to play in the last,” Klinsmann said. “They played all the more forcefully, they won pretty much every one-on-one fight and they improved.
“I’m not want to do anything, I will examine this tournament, return to Korea with the group and talk with the alliance about what was great and not great in the tournament.