In a thrilling Asian Cup semi-final clash on Tuesday at the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Jordan shocked the football world by defeating South Korea with a remarkable scoreline of 2-0. The victory was sealed by goals from Yazan al-Naimat and Musa al-Taamari in the second half, propelling Jordan into their inaugural appearance in the tournament’s final.
This unexpected outcome marked a significant upset for Jordan, considering their FIFA ranking of 87th, while South Korea entered the match as the third-best team in Asia, positioned 64 places higher. The hero of the day, Naimat, who had previously scored in the teams’ group stage encounter, showcased his exceptional skill once again, tormenting the opposition with his agile footwork. Additionally, Taamari’s relentless efforts on the field proved instrumental in securing the historic victory for Jordan.
South Korea’s Coach Klinsmann Left Stunned as Jordan’s Tactics Stifle Team’s Offense
In a tense and scoreless first half, Naimat came close to breaking the deadlock for Jordan with a dazzling display of skill, maneuvering past three defenders in the box. However, his shot was aimed directly at goalkeeper Jo Hyeon-woo, who pulled off a remarkable reflex save to deny Jordan the opening goal.
On the opposite end of the pitch, South Korea’s Lee Jae-sung came agonizingly close to giving his team the lead with a header off a cross from Son Heung-min, only to see his effort rebound off the post, granting Jordan a fortunate escape.
The pivotal moment arrived for Jordan when Taamari seized upon a defensive error in midfield, setting up Naimat with a perfectly executed through pass. Naimat capitalized on the opportunity, delicately chipping the ball over the onrushing keeper to notch his third goal of the tournament.
Taamari, who had been tirelessly active throughout the match, showcased his brilliance by embarking on a solo run past the static defense, before elegantly curling his shot past the keeper. This electrifying moment sent the passionate Jordanian supporters, among the 42,850 spectators in the arena, into a frenzy of celebration.
Facing relentless pressure and dynamic offensive plays from Jordan, South Korea’s coach Jürgen Klinsmann could only watch in frustration from the sidelines, his expression impassive as his team failed to muster a single shot on target in the semi-final clash. Known for their knack of scoring late goals in the tournament, South Korea found themselves unable to mount a comeback against Jordan’s resilient defense, ultimately bowing out of the competition.
With their impressive performance, Jordan secured their spot in the final, where they will await the outcome of the match between Iran and hosts Qatar. Klinsmann and his team, meanwhile, are left to ponder their missed opportunity as they exit the tournament empty-handed.
Jordan’s Coach Ammouta Credits Players’ Heroic Performance in Upsetting South Korea
Reflecting on Jordan’s historic victory over South Korea, coach Hussein Ammouta emphasized the team’s fearless approach and strategic mindset. “The players delivered a heroic performance. The X-factor was we didn’t need to give South Korea more respect than needed,” Ammouta remarked. “Based on their record in their last few games, they conceded goals and we knew it was possible to score against them, that was the turning point.”
In contrast, South Korea’s coach Jürgen Klinsmann accepted responsibility for his team’s elimination from the tournament but refrained from offering his resignation. “Obviously we’re disappointed. We had the big goal of playing in the final but Jordan deserves this win, they deserve to play in the final,” Klinsmann conceded. “They played more aggressively, they won almost every one-v-one battle and they got better.”
Looking ahead, Klinsmann outlined his plans for reflection and analysis. “I’m not planning to do anything, I will analyze this tournament, go back to Korea with the team and talk with the federation about what was good and not so good in the tournament.“