Jordan on Tuesday dominated the proceedings to crush Palestine 5-1 and secure a quarter-finals berth at the FIFA Arab Cup. Playing at Stadium 974 in Ras Abu Aboud, the brand new 2022 World Cup venue, Jordan on Tuesday night relied on a double by Yazan Alnaimat (86’ and 90 +1’) late in the second half to wrap up a commanding win in Group C.
Baha Suleiman (9’), Hamza Aldaradreh (24’) and Mahmoud Almardi (82’) also scored for Jordan who ended Group C behind leaders Morocco, who beat Saudi Arabia 1-0 yesterday. For Palestine, Tamer Seyam yesterday scored two minutes before the end of the first half in a match dominated by Jordan.
Jordan’s Mohamed Abu Sharaa said yesterday: “Thank God, we won this match. We picked up the points we needed. The coach and the backroom staff supported me and encouraged me all the way.”
Alnaimat, the two-goal hero, said: “The captain asked me if I want to skip the match and I said I can play and will play. Thank God I did so well. For the next match, one or two players will come back and we will get even better.”
Palestine conceded an early penalty as Jordan latched on to their chance with glee. In the 8th minute, Jordan’s Abdallatif Albahdari was brought down, a foul that saw the referee point to the spot kick which was easily converted by Suleiman with a right-footed strike.
For the next few minutes, Jordan reeled off attacks but the Palestine backline remained firm to thwart all moves. In the 20th minute, Palestine’s Sayem attacked the Jordan goal but the linesman was quick to declare the move offside.
In the 24th minute, Jordan went 2-0 up after Yaseen Bakheet charged into the Palestine box and found Aldaradreh with a low cross. Aldaradreh easily flicked the ball into the net from close range for his side’s second goal.
Three minutes later, Palestine’s Mohamed Rashid attempted a shot from outside the box but the ball went a little wide off the goal. Two minutes before the first-half whistle, Seyam headed home on a loopy cross from the flank to reduce the deficit for Palestine in the 43rd minute.
At the hour-mark, Palestine’s Yaser Hamed jumped high but his zeflection from a long cross hit the goalpost. Four minutes later, goal-scorer Seyam curled in a spectacular shot with a left-footed drive but the swerving ball was punched away by Jordan keeper Yazeed Abulaila.
In the 71st minute, Palestine’s Salem Khaled found Seyam with a neat cross. Seyam put the ball into the net with an easy deflection from close range but the linesman declared the goal offside. Jordan’s Ali Olwan found Alnaimat with a low cross from the flank. Stationed a few feet away from the Palestine goal, Alnaimat managed a deflection that was smartly pouched by Palestine keeper Amr Kaddura.
Ten minutes from time, Jordan substitute Rajaei Ayed unleashed a powerful shot that was saved by the Palestine keeper with a dive to his left. Two minutes later, Jordan got a third goal when Almardi produced a left-footed drive from inside the box but his shot caught a deflection off the leg of Palestine’s Yaser Hamed.
Jordan added the fourth in the 86th minute through Alnaimat who also scored the fifth goal in injury time.