Soccer:Jordan send China packing

Updated: 2006-11-07 08:42

Jordan pulled off the biggest upset so far in the ongoing AFC Youth Championship after shocking last edition's runners-up China 2-1 in the quarterfinals at the Salt Lake Stadium on Monday.

The victory also ensured the West Asians a place in next year's FIFA U-20 World Cup. In the semifinals, they will meet DPR Korea, who defeated Iraq 2-0 in another quarterfinal at Bangalore, on November 9.

China's Wang Yongbo, middle, tries to break through during the team's 2-1 defeat to Jordan in the quarterfinals of the AFC Youth Championships, November 6, 2006. []
Loiy Al Zaideh put Jordan ahead in the 33rd minute and Abdallah Salim made it 2-0 from the spot in the 67th minute. China pulled one back through Yang Xu in the 70th minute.

Jordan were on song today. The West Asians, playing in this premier age-group tournament after a gap of eight years, surprised the Chinese with an offensive start.

Jordan got a golden opportunity in the 26th minute when Raed Fraeh had an empty net at his mercy but his hasty effort sailed over the bar. Abdallah Salim's shot from the edge of the box beat Chinese goalkeeper Wang Dalei only to hit the woodwork. The rebound landed in front of Fraeh but the midfielder hit it over the bar as Dalei scrambled to get onto his feet.

Jordan opened their account in the 33rd minute when a left-footed dipping volley by Loiy Al Zaideh went over a diving Dalei. Jordan were leading 1-0 at half-time.

China almost levelled the scores in the 56th minute when Yang Xu's header went into the net but his effort was disallowed for being offside.

Jordan doubled the advantage in the 67th minute when Salim scored from the spot. They were awarded the penalty when Salim was brought down in the box by Dai Lin and the midfielder himself stepped up to make it 2-0.

Three minutes later, Yang Xu reduced the deficit when his header in a goalmouth melee found the net.

China got their rhythm back after this goal and they increased the pressure on the Jordan citadel. Jordanian goalkeeper Hamad Al Asmar thwarted many of the Chinese attacks.

China's hero in their group games, Wang Yongpo had a clear chance in the 82nd minute but he was too late to take a shot as Al Asmar cleared the threat.

An elated Jordan coach Jan Poulsen said: ¡°It was a surprise for all of us but we had belief in ourselves. Having seen China play in the group games, we knew that it will not be easy but a victory is possible.¡±

"The players were under pressure in the second half and the last 15 minutes were very exciting. It could have become 2-2 or 3-1 in our favour."

China coach Jia Xiuquan accepted the responsibility for the defeat saying, "I accept this result and the responsibility for the defeat. I was not surprised by Jordan but by my own players' show."

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