Jordan end Tajikistan's dream run at Asian Cup to move into semi-finals



Fri, 02 Feb 2024 - 03:13 GMT


Fri, 02 Feb 2024 - 03:13 GMT

Tajikistan's Alisher Shukurov in action with Jordan's Mousa Tamari REUTERS/Ibraheem Al Omari

Tajikistan's Alisher Shukurov in action with Jordan's Mousa Tamari REUTERS/Ibraheem Al Omari

(Reuters) - Jordan edged Asian Cup debutants Tajikistan 1-0 to move into the semi-finals of the tournament for the first time thanks to a second-half own goal at the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium on Friday.


The two teams had drawn a World Cup qualifier in November but it was Jordan who came out on top when Vahdat Hanonov put the ball into his own net from a set piece, ending Tajikistan's dream run in Qatar.


While Jordan's elated players celebrated in front of their fans, waving their country's flag in the air, members of the Tajikistan squad were inconsolable.


Nevertheless, Tajikistan supporters who had flown in for the game gave their country's heroes -- who had surpassed all pre-tournament expectations -- a standing ovation.


"I think we gave everything and I must compliment Jordan. You deserve to win, you played a very good game," Tajikistan coach Petar Segrt told beIN Sports.


"Sometimes you need luck, we didn't have it today. But we must also respect that Jordan played a very good game. So congratulations to Jordan."


In a goalless opening half, Ehson Panjshanbe came closest to scoring for Tajikistan when his effort hit the bar while Jordan forward Yazan Al-Naimat failed to convert two difficult chances to break the deadlock.


Tajikistan also suffered a setback when striker Shahrom Samiev lasted 27 minutes before he was forced to come off in tears due to a hamstring injury.


Jordan finally found the breakthrough from a corner in the 66th minute when Abdallah Nasib's header went in via a deflection off the chest of Hanonov -- their goalscorer from their last-16 win over the United Arab Emirates.


Tajikistan tried their best to score an equaliser, with Alisher Shukurov coming close when he tested keeper Yazeed Abulaila from distance with an effort that stung his palms, but Jordan managed to hold on for a famous victory.


Jordan had fallen at the quarter-final hurdle twice before and Hussein Ammouta's side will next play either 2015 champions Australia or South Korea in the first semi-final on Tuesday.



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