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Asia Cup

Jordan ends Tajikistan’s fairytale AFC Asian Cup run with a nervy 1-0 victory and historical pass to semifinals

Jordan took the lead with an own goal scored by Vahdat Khanonov of Tajikistan (obscured), to edge Tajikistan 1-0 during the second half of the AFC Asian Cup quarter-final match at Ahmed bin Ali Stadium on Friday, in Doha, Qatar.

JORDAN’S ROYAL SUPPORT Fans around the world celebrated Jordan’s entry into the AFC Asian Cup semi-finals for the first time, but amongst all the stadium fans, two highlighted fans got to witness this glorious victory moment for Jordan from the VIP stands, His Royal Highness Hussein bin Abdullah II, Crown Prince of Jordan, and his uncle Prince Ali bin Al Hussein, President of Jordan Football Federation, who both attended the match to show support for the nation’s national football team.


His Highness Prince Hussein bin Abdullah II, Crown Prince, and His Highness Prince Ali bin Al Hussein celebrate with the players of the football team’s victory over the Tajikistan national team and their historic qualification to the semi-finals of the Asian Cup (Jordan Olympic Committee).

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

TAJIK CROWNS SUPPORTER 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.”

GAME DYNAMICS 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 one of its best strikers Shahrom Samiev lasted 27, minutes before he was forced to come off in tears due to a hamstring injury.

JORDAN PRESSURE 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.

EYEING AN EQUALISER 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.

WHAT’S NEXT?

Ranked 81st, Jordan qualified for this edition of the AFC Asian Cup on 14 June 2022, having won the 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualification, Third Round Group A.

This is the 5th appearance of the Jordan national football team in the AFC Asian Cup finals. Jordan had fallen at the quarter-final hurdle twice before.

Yazan Al Naimat of Jordan celebrates victory in the AFC Asian Cup quarter-final match between Tajikistan and Jordan at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium on February 02, 2024 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Adam Nurkiewicz/Getty Images)

The team led by Coach Hussein Ammouta, will play against South Korea for their first semi-final on Tuesday.

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