Yazan Al Naimat and Mousa Al Tamari found the net to secure Jordan a remarkable 2-0 victory over South Korea, propelling the West Asian side into the 2023 AFC Asian Cup final at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium on Tuesday.
From the opening whistle to the final moments, underdogs Jordan displayed dominance, outplaying a South Korea side who were tipped to potentially end their 64-year wait for an Asian Cup title this year. This historic win marks Jordan’s first-ever appearance in Asian Cup final, having never went beyond the quarterfinals before this year.
Jordan seized control from the start, catching South Korea off guard with their rapid attacks. Al Naimat’s early strike in the fourth minute forced goalkeeper Jo Hyeon-woo into a diving save, setting the tone for Jordan’s assertive play.
The West Asian side continued to pose threats with Al Tamari’s skillful dribbling creating opportunities, notably testing Hyeon-woo with a chance for Selangor FC ace Noor Al Rawabdeh. However, South Korea began to find their footing, with Tottenham Hotspur’s Son Heung-min’s goal disallowed for offside and Paris Saint-Germain’s Lee Kang-in missing the target.
Despite South Korea’s attempts, Jordan remained dangerous in attack, with Al Naimat and Al Tamari narrowly missing chances. South Korea’s penalty was overturned after a VAR review, and Lee Jae-Sung struck the upright from Hwang In-beom’s cross.
A brilliant solo run from Al Naimat just before halftime nearly resulted in a goal, but South Korea’s defense held firm. In a first-half marred by missed opportunities, Hwang squandered a promising chance for the Taeguk Warriors.
Although Jordan’s pace slightly waned in the second half, they maintained control, exploiting South Korea’s struggles to retain possession. Their persistence paid off in the 53rd minute when Al Tamari capitalized on a defensive error to set up Al Naimat for a delicate lob over Hyeon-woo.
Despite South Korea’s attempts to mount a comeback, Jordan extended their lead through Al Tamari’s precise finish in the 59th minute. South Korea’s late efforts were fruitless as Jordan defended resolutely, securing a well-deserved spot in this year’s Asian Cup final.