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Jordan reaches Asian Cup last 16, all to play for in Group A

Updated: 2019-01-11 11:40
Jordan's coach Vital Borkelmans celebrates after the match, Sheikh Khalifa International Stadium, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates, January 10, 2019. [Photo/Agencies]

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - Jordan became the first team to qualify for the knockout stages of the Asian Cup on Thursday. Thailand now has hope of joining it in the last 16 after a change of coaches had an immediate impact, with the team earning just its second win in 22 games in the competition.

Group B leader Jordan followed up its upset win against defending champion Australia in their opening match with a 2-0 victory over neighboring Syria.

In Group A, Chanathip Songkrasin scored the only goal as Thailand beat Bahrain 1-0 and United Arab Emirates beat India 2-0. Bahrain moved top of the group, one point above India and Thailand.

Thailand fired coach Milovan Rajevac following Sunday's 4-1 loss to India and appointed his assistant, Sirisak Yodyardthai, as interim coach.

Sirisak made five changes to the team which lost to India, and Thailand was also helped by some wayward finishing from Bahrain which managed only three shots on target out of 15 attempts.

Thailand grew in confidence as Bahrain failed to translate its dominance into goals, and Chanathip broke the deadlock in the 58th minute after Tristan Do's cross was deflected into his path by Bahrain defender Ahmed Ali Juma.

Chanathip came close to setting up Thailand's second when he picked out an unmarked Adisak Kraisorn but his effort hit the post.

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