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Jazira aim to advance to AFC Cup final

By Aline Bannayan - Sep 23,2019 - Last updated at Sep 23,2019

AMMAN — Jazira host Lebanon’s Ahed on Tuesday in Leg 1 of the final stage of the 16th Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup West Asia zone.

Jazira reached the zone’s final in dramatic fashion. After losing Leg 1 of the semis 3-0 to Syria’s Jeish they reversed their fortunes winning Leg 2 of the semis 4-0 to qualify.

Similarly, Lebanon’s Ahed eliminated Wihdat beating them 1-0 and drawing 0-0 to reach the final of the second-tier Asian club competition. Leg 2 of the West Asia zone final will be played in Beirut on October 1 with the winner advancing to play the East Asia champ AFC Cup final set for November 2.

During this year’s AFC Cup, Jazira eliminated titleholders Kuwait Club in Group B to advance while Wihdat had ended Round 1 atop Group A as the top teams from the three competing west Asian groups (Wihdat, Jazira and Ahed) in addition to the best second placed team (Jeish) moved to the semifinal round of the zone with the winner advancing to the eventual competition final.

In the past 2017/18 season, Jazira lost in the AFC Cup West Asia zone final and failed to reach the continent’s final won by the Iraqi Air Force Club for three consecutive seasons, while Faisali had bowed out earlier in the event’s semifinals. 

This season, Jazira came second in the league as Faisali won the Jordan Cup title and combined it with the Jordan Professional Football League crown. Wihdat finished third in the league and beat previous Jordan Cup champs Jazira to win the 36th Jordan Super Cup. 

After losing their chance to win the league both teams were hoping to make up for their results and have a shot at the AFC Cup crown. 

It’s been over 12 years since Jordanian teams won the AFC Cup. Faisali won in 2005 and 2006, and Shabab Urdun won in 2007. Other Jordanian teams participating in previous editions include Ramtha, Hussein, That Ras and Ahli. Kuwait Club and the Iraqi Air Force Club are AFC Cup record winners having been crowned champs three times each.

The AFC Champions League the continents’ leading competition — saw reigning Jordan League champs Wihdat eliminated in the preliminary round by Kuwait Club. Jordanian teams have never before made it past the ACL preliminary round. In the 2017/18 edition, Faisali were knocked out, while Wihdat were knocked out in 2017, 2016 and 2015, and Shabab Urdun in 2014.

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