Asian Cup holders Australia humbled by battling Jordanians

Australia 0 Jordan 1

January 6 – Day 2 Game 2 and the AFC Asian Cup 2019 burst into life with another surprise result as reigning champions Australia were beaten by a goal in their opening group game by a jubilant Jordan. Last night hosts UAE were held to an unexpected draw by Bahrain in the opening game of the tournament.

30-year-old defender Anas Bani Yaseen scored a headed goal on 26 minutes to stun the Socceroos who despite having the bulk of possession could not break down Vital Borkelman’s well organised Jordanian defense. Amer Shafi was a lesson in goalkeeping solidity throughout.

The Jordanians’s best spell came in the first half with Yousef Rawshedh testing Brighton’s Premier League keeper Maty Ryan after just 10 minutes while Mousa Suleiman should have done better when he was given time to turn in the area, only to pull his shot across the face of goal.

Even so Australia were still dominant in possession though Jordan looked the more incisive in front of goal. When Baha’ Abdelrahman’s corner found Bai Yaseen unmarked 10 yards out, he powered his header beyond a flat-footed Ryan.

Jordan almost doubled their lead minutes later after Trent Sainsbury’s foul on Suleiman provided Abdelrahman the opportunity to go for goal from the edge of the area, only for Ryan to tip the free-kick onto the crossbar.

The second half saw Australia camped in the Jordanian half. Awer Mabil’s shot early on saw that Shafi do well to push to the feet of one of his own defenders, while Tom Rogic’s dipping shot from range was also beaten away by the goalkeeper.

As the Aussies frantically pressed Mabil had a shot hit Shafi’s left upright with 12 minutes to go while substitute Jackson Irvine steered his header wide three minutes later.

Jordan hung on to record the first major upset of the tournament and now move on to face neighbours Syria on January 11.

Contact the writer of this story at moc.l1553075232labto1553075232ofdlr1553075232owedi1553075232sni@n1553075232osloh1553075232cin.l1553075232uap1553075232


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