A rematch between South Korea and Jordan will take place in the quarterfinals. The ‘Middle East’s underdogs’ halted Tajikistan’s historic march to reach the last four for the first time in their history. If South Korea wins its quarterfinal against Australia, it will face Jordan at 0:00 a.m. on July 7 for a spot in the final.
Jordan put an end to Tajikistan’s fairytale surge with a 1-0 victory in the first leg of their quarterfinal match at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Qatar Asian Cup 2023 at the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday (July 2), thanks to an own goal in the 21st minute of the second half.
After a 0-0 first half, Jordan took the lead in the 21st minute of the second half when Nasib’s header from a corner kick deflected off Tajik defender Hannounov’s back. Hannunov, who scored the opening goal in the round of 16 against Paulo Bento’s United Arab Emirates (UAE), had been through heaven and hell in the tournament, scoring an own goal in the quarterfinals.
Jordan, who were drawn in the same Group E as South Korea and Bahrain, reached the round of 16 after finishing third in their group and then pulled off a miraculous 3-2 upset of Iraq to reach the last four for the first time in their history.
Jordan were the ‘underdogs’ in the round of 16 against Iraq, but scored back-to-back equalizers in the 90+5 and 90+7 minutes of stoppage time after trailing 1-2, to keep their momentum going and reach their third quarterfinal after 2004 and 2011. Jordan had also threatened upset in their Group E second leg against South Korea, overcoming an objective disadvantage to draw 2-2. South Korea took the lead through Son Heung-min’s penalty kick, before conceding two goals in the first half and narrowly escaping defeat with an own goal in stoppage time.
Jordan, the only one of the four third-place wildcards to make it to the quarterfinals, benefited from a relatively favorable draw to reach the last four. Syria, Palestine, and Indonesia, who reached the Round of 16 as wild cards, all went home with losses.
The biggest upset of the tournament, Tajikistan, was unfortunately unable to overcome the Jordanian barrier and ended their journey in the quarterfinals. Making their first-ever appearance at the tournament, Tajikistan’s young squad, with an average age of 24.2 years, made history by finishing second in Group A with one win, one draw, and one loss (four points), before knocking out Paulo Bento’s United Arab Emirates (UAE) to reach the last 16 for the first time in their history. In the round of 16 against the UAE, they adopted a strategy of locking down a first-half lead and conceded a late equalizer in stoppage time, but extended their miracle run a little further with a 5-3 victory on penalties.
In a match that will go down as a historic victory for either team, Jordan was the more physically dominant. Jordan took advantage of the organized Tajik defense, with the attacking trio of Al Namimat, Musa Altamari, and Olwan working diligently to create scoring 바카라사이트 chances. Olwan had a crucial chance to open the scoring in first-half stoppage time on a corner kick, but his right-footed shot sailed over the bar.
Tajikistan, who have been developing their organizational skills since the age-group tournament, played a 4-4-2 system under coach Petar Segrit, solidifying their defense and rattling Jordan’s nerves with sharp counterattacks. In the first 15 minutes, Panshanbeh’s right-footed shot hit the crossbar, but the Tajiks were determined to fight back despite their objective power disadvantage.
At the end of the first half, which ended 0-0, the objective metrics were in favor of Jordan. Jordan held a 54%-46% advantage in ball possession and a 2-1 edge in shots on goal. However, Jordan lost key striker Olwan and main defender Aljalin to cautions and will not be able to play in the quarterfinals due to accumulated cautions.
Chinese referee Fu Ming was lenient with his calls, letting some fouls slide. He failed to call two fouls on Tajikistan in the first half inside the penalty box and the subsequent VAR review showed no fouls.
The second quarterfinal match between South Korea and Australia will take place at 0:30 a.m. on March 3 to determine the quarterfinalists.