Jordan upset South Korea to reach AFC Asian Cup final

Jordan will compete against either Qatar or Iran

By Web Desk
February 06, 2024
Jordan made into the final for the first time in history - AFP

Jordan have stunned favourites South Korea with a 2-0 victory in the semi-final of AFC Asian Cup 2023, securing a historic spot in the final for the first time.

Jordan will compete against either Qatar or Iran, who are set to play in the second semi-final tomorrow. The final is scheduled for February 10.

In their debut appearance in the semi-finals and positioned 64 places lower in the rankings, Jordan convincingly earned their win against Jurgen Klinsmann's stunned team.

South Korea's star player, Son Heung-min, faced a frustrating evening, prolonging his country's quest for their first Asian Cup title since 1960.

Jordan created more scoring opportunities and took the lead shortly after halftime. Yazan Al-Naimat, scoring his third goal of the tournament, capitalised on South Korea's costly ball giveaway.

They had been in a losing position in four of their matches in Qatar, but there was no way back this time for the Koreans when Mousa Al-Tamari sliced his way through the South Korean defense 13 minutes later.

South Korea simply couldn't handle the pace and power of the attacking duo of Naimat and Tamari.

Jordan were the underdogs—despite the teams drawing 2-2 in the group phase—but they shaded an entertaining first half in which they racked up 12 attempts at goal to South Korea's four.

On 17 minutes, South Korean goalkeeper Jo Hyeon-woo was forced into a decent save from Noor Al-Rawabdeh after good work from Montpellier's Tamari.

Jo kept out a fierce drive from Naimat after the South Korean defense opened up, before Tamari blazed over the bar.

On the half-hour, referee Mohammed Abdulla Hassan from the UAE awarded Klinsmann's side a penalty after a collision in the Jordan box between Seol Young-woo and Yazan Al-Arab, but changed his mind after consulting the pitchside monitor.

Lee Jae-sung pinged a header onto the post—South Korea's first proper chance—then Naimat slalomed his way through three weak Korean challenges before drawing a close-range stop from Jo.

Hwang In-beom skied a golden chance way over the bar with just the goalkeeper to beat on the stroke of half-time.

Skipper and Tottenham ace Son, who scored the extra-time winner over Australia in the quarter-finals, had yet to stamp his authority on the semi-final and his side were behind on 53 minutes.

Park Yong-woo gave the ball away, Tamari ran towards goal and slipped in Naimat, who popped a cool finish over the advancing Jo.

South Korea couldn't cope with the rampaging duo, and on 66 minutes, Tamari drove to the edge of the box before unloading past an exposed Jo.