Jordan and Qatar lock horns at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail on Saturday in the final of the 2023 AFC Asian Cup, as history beckons for both sides.
For the first time in their history, Jordan have reached the showpiece clash of the competition. Against all the odds, the Chivalrous Ones beat mighty South Korea 2-0 in the semi-finals to get to this title match.
Yazan Al-Naimat broke the deadlock for the Middle Eastern side in the 53rd minute before Musa Al-Taamari doubled their advantage 13 minutes later. Korea, led by stellar names such as Heung-min Son and Lee Kang-in, were uncharacteristically wayward in attack, failing to muster a single shot on target from eight attempts.
Jordan were the superior side throughout the match and emerged as the deserved winners. If they win on Saturday, Hussein Ammouta’s side will become just the 10th nation in Asia Cup history to win the title.
On the other hand, defending champions Qatar are just one game away from successfully defending their crown. Only Iran (1976), Saudi Arabia (1988) and Japan (2004) have managed to accomplish that feat in the past.
The Maroons overcame the resilient Iran in a topsy-turvy semi-final encounter. Team Melli led after only four minutes, but the hosts fought back to go 2-1 up. Alireza Jahanbakhsh equalized from the penalty spot for Iran but Ali Almoez struck the winner for Qatar with just eight minutes of normal time left on the clock.