A Levantine Groove dazzles the Asian Cup

The second day of the Asian Cup was all about the Levantine national teams, who started their campaigns and produced surprising displays. 

The first shocking result arrived early on the afternoon when Jordan has shocked reigning champions Australia, with a 1-0 victory at Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium in Al-Ain. 

The Jordanians stood well on defence, went out for lethal counter attacks and looked sharp throughout the ninety minutes. The Socceroos, on the other hand, couldn’t find answers to Musa Al-Taamari, ‘the Jordanian Salah’, who tricked the Aussie defenders again & again. Al-Taamari also provided the assist for Anas Bani Yaseen from a perfect corner in the first half. 

Legendary goalkeeper Amer Shaf’i contributed few heroic saves in the last minutes to secure Jordan’s victory. On the other side Matt Ryan, the Australian keeper wasn’t too bad himself, but his friends on the pitch simply weren’t focused. For moments there, it seemed not in the mood for football what so ever. 

With this win, Jordan is becoming a true nemesis for Australia, after they managed to beat them a second game in-a-row, as in 2015 the Neshsma overcame the Aussies 2-0. 

Jordan, the true nemesis of Australia (2019 Asian Football Confederation (AFC))

Jordan, the true nemesis of Australia (2019 Asian Football Confederation (AFC))

This result made things in group B a bit complicated, but it turned to be even more complex when Syria & Palestine played at Sharjah.  11 thousand Palestinians and Syrians gathered in the stands of Sharjah Stadium, in what was the first match in the competition that produced a sizzling atmosphere. 

The Syrians opened very strong, but somehow, and mainly thanks to Abdelatif Al-Bahdari & Rami Hamadeh, Palestine have kept a clean sheet. Even when defender Mohamed Saleh was sent off with a second yellow and a foul over Omar Khribin, nothing changes the focus and defensive mode of the Palestinian captain and his teammates, who protected their goal with great sacrifice.

A historical 0-0 that means a first ever point for Palestine in the Asian Cup history, which is also the first point in an official tournament.

Group B is boiling, and we are just on the second day of this tournament.