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League’s Leg 1 ends with surprising standings, inconsistent results

By Aline Bannayan - Dec 21,2014 - Last updated at Dec 21,2014

AMMAN — Teams have some time to regroup and refocus on Leg 2 of the 63rd Jordan Professional League that is now on a break as the national team begins its countdown to the 2015 Asian Cup in Australia kicking off on January 9.

For the first time, three teams among the top four are from the north of the Kingdom as Wihdat lead, followed by Ramtha, surprise third-placed newcomers Sarih and Hussein, who had been relegated, in fourth spot.

Jazira are fifth and followed by Ahli, who scored important wins over Faisali, Shabab Urdun and Baqaa to settle at sixth. They are followed by former Jordan Cup champs That Ras while Faisali are placed  at 8th, followed by former champs Shabab Urdun.

Throughout the first half of the competition, Wihdat and Ramtha remained the only unbeaten teams. Wihdat beat traditional rivals Faisali 2-0 but that was only the start of the former champs troubles as the club suffers an administrative crisis that has left the team trailing at the lower end of the standings for the first time ever since the league kicked off in 1944. 

Wihdat could have gained more points but were held by Ramtha, Hussein and Jazira. Ramtha fans are elated and hope to compete for the title while Sarih, who lost only three matches to Wihdat, Ramtha and Hussein, are happy with third place.

Faisali lost 2-1 to Sarih, 1-0 to Ahli and That Ras, and drew with Ramtha and Shabab Urdun, as the team’s fans urged Parliament and the Higher Council for Youth to interfere.

Shabab Urdun also disappointed fans with 9th place and only two wins over Ittihad Ramtha and Manshieh. Baqaa, a usual top five finisher, is now 11th after only one win over Ittihad Ramtha who are last.

In the past 66 matches, a total of 141 goals were scored as 45 matches ended in wins and 21 in draws, including 11 in goalless draws. Ramtha’s Rakan Khalidi tops the scorers list with eight goals, while Wihdat’s Mahmoud Zaatara has six.

Jordan Cup semifinalists

The Jordan Cup semis will see Faisali play Wihdat and Ramtha face That Ras. 

Leg 1 quarter-final matches saw Ahli hold Ramtha 1-1, That Ras beat Jazira 1-0, Wihdat beat Sarih 1-0 and Faisali beat Manshieh 2-1. In Leg 2, Faisali held Manshieh 1-1, Wihdat held Sarih 0-0, That Ras beat Jazira 4-3 on penalties and Ramtha beat Ahli 2-1.

Baqaa, Shabab Urdun and Hussein were eliminated earlier in the competition in which only league teams are playing this year. 

Wihdat won the first major competition of the 2014/15 football season calendar after they beat Baqaa 2-0 in the 32nd Super Cup.

Last season, Wihdat won the Jordan Professional League for the 13th time, and beat Baqaa to win the Jordan Cup while Shabab Urdun beat That Ras to win the 31st Super Cup. The Jordan Football Association  Shield was not held.

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