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League on break as Wihdat slide down league standings

By Aline Bannayan - Oct 06,2018 - Last updated at Oct 06,2018

AMMAN — Jazira maintained their lead atop the Jordan Professional Football League, which headed into a 10 day break as the national team regrouped to play two friendlies this week.

Jazira were eliminated from Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup West Asia zone final when they lost on aggregate, losing to 1-0 and 3-1 to the Iraqi Air Force team, thus failing to reach the continent’s final. Faisali had lost earlier in the event’s semifinals. Previously Faisali won the AFC Cup twice and Shabab Urdun once.

Likewise Ramtha lost to Tunisia’s Etoile Sportive Du Sahel and were eliminated from the preliminary round of the Arab Club Champions Cup, losing 3-1 in both legs.

Last year, Faisali finished runner-up to Tunisia’s Tarajji in the Arab Club Champions Cup after an impressive performance which included two wins over Egyptian veterans Ahli. 

This year, league titleholders Wihdat will represent Jordan in the 2018/19 AFC Champions League. In 2017/18 edition, Faisali failed to reach the group stages of Asia’s elite club competition and settled to play the AFC Cup. Jordanian teams have never before made it past the ACL preliminary round. Wihdat were knocked out in 2017, 2016 and 2015, while Shabab Urdun were eliminated in 2014.

As the league halted, Jazira are top after beating That Ras 2-1. They are followed by Shabab Urdun in second spot after a 1-0 win overly last placed Sarih.

Faisali are third, six points behind the runner up with their only win was over Aqaba, while they drew in the rest of matches against relatively weaker teams.

Wihdat now have Qais Yacoubi of Tunisia as coach after the team’s inconsistent pulled them down to 8th in the standings. Their last goalless draw with Faisali followed a defeat to Shabab Urdun, after they lost to newcomers Salt 1-0 and drew 0-0 with lowly Sarih.

Salt held Ahli 1-1 to move up to fourth while Baqaa dropped to fifth after losing 1-0 to Ramtha who moved up to 7th. Hussein are 6th after beating Aqaba 1-0.

 The national team has regrouped to play Albania on October 10 and the World Cup runner-up Croatia on October 15 as they gear up for the 2019 Asian Cup. Jordan’s coach Jamal Abu Abed has been relieved of his duty by the Jordan Football Association after the team only managed a 0-0 tie with Oman and earlier lost to Lebanon 1-0.

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