Jordan, Yemen qualify for final round


Kathmandu, 4 Nov 2009 - Jordan and Yemen qualified for the final round of the AFC U-19 Championship as the winners and runners-up of the Group A qualifiers on Wednesday.

In their last league match, Jordan continuing with their unbeaten run had a comfortable 2-0 victory over Tajikistan at the Dasharath Stadium to top the group with 13 points. Similarly, Yemen outplayed Kyrgyzstan 3-1 at the Halchowk ground to secure berth for the final round as runners-up with 11 points.

In the other match played at the Dasharath Stadium, Palestine thrashed the home team Nepal 4-1 to climb onto the fourth spot with four points, while the hosts Nepal and Kyrgyzstan lie at the bottom two spots respectively with three points each. However, Nepal seized the fifth spot on the basis of head-to-head record as Nepal had defeated Kyrgyzstan 2-1 in the match played on October 27.

Jordan, keeping the entire match under control, had to wait until the second half to materialize their dream of scoring against Tajikistan, who needed a must win to book their place for the final round of the tournament to be held next year. Hamza Ali scored the first goal to give Jordan the lead in the 63rd minute, while Mahmoud Saleem netted another six minutes later to seal their victory.

Hamza gave a beautiful finishing move in the box utilizing a pass from Suhib Adnan to score the first goal. Likewise, Mahmoud made a close range strike to pile more pressure on Tajikistan utilizing a rebound off Suhib.

Earlier, in the first half, Jordan made about three powerful strikes but failed to score. Mahmoud Saleem´s powerful strike rebounded hitting the bar twice while the Tajiks could make only one impressive attempt at the post.

“Despite playing a good game we lost due to the stubborn defensive line of Jordan.Though we made good moves the defense line up did not give us any chance,” said Tajikistan coach Gufrov Salokhidini after the match.

Happy with the team´s qualification for the final round Jordan coach Semida Mohamed commented that they played well and won. “We came up with disciplined game and good footballing,” he said.

Nepal´s Rohit Chand scored the first goal in the 12th minute against Palestine but Nepal could not keep up the pace. Nepal were awarded a penalty after Sujal Shrestha was brought down in the box, which Rohit slammed straight into the net.

Nepal´s joy of scoring the first goal couldn´t last long as Palestine´s captain Ahmed Hamed scored an equalizer in the 25th minute. Hammam Abuhasanein added another goal for Palestine six minutes later. He scored a one-versus-one goal from the box.

Palestine received a penalty as Bishal Rai fouled Rami Almasalma in the box. Rami did not commit any mistake to send the ball into net in the 37th minute.

In the second half, Anas Sulaiman converted a corner kick into a goal, killing the match in the 63rd minute.

Nepal had several good chances to strike back but were unable to score. Sujal Shrestha´s shot in the 82nd minute returned after hitting the pole while the Palestine goalkeeper remained stationary.

Palestine coach Moussa Bezaz was happy to see his players perform well. He said that it was difficult to select players for his team because there are no domestic leagues for age group players in Palestine.

In the match played at the Halchowk ground, Yemen got the first goal as a gift from Kyrgyzstan in the 45th minute when Rouslan Ajamal of Kyrgyzstan scored an own goal. Yemen´s Ashraf Ismail added another in the 67th minute to pile up more pressure on Kyrgyzstan. Al Saleh scored another goal for Yemen seven minutes later to confirm their place for the final round of the tournament to be held next year.

Ivanov Igor scored a consolation goal for Kyrgyzstan in the 86th minute.

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