Jordan beat Uzbekistan 9-8 on penalties to book an intercontinental play-off against the fifth-placed finishers in South American qualifying for a ticket to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™.
The Asian rivals drew 1-1 in Amman last week, and they registered the same result over 120 minutes in Tashkent to send the tie to a shootout.
It took just five minutes for Uzbekistan to send their supporters wild. Server Djeparov curled in a free-kick from the right, which Amer Sabbah could parry into the path of Anzur Ismailov, who slotted it home from close range.
Mirjalol Kasimov’s charges took their foot off the gas thereafter, though, and the half looked like ending with the hosts at a one-goal advantage until the 42nd minute. That’s when, out of nothing, Saeed Al Murjan thumped a stunning 25-yard half-volley into the back of the net to restore parity.
Uzbekistan had a lot of possession, and a series of corners, in the second half, but they failed to convert that into a goal and the game went into extra time. The visitors, coached by Egyptian legend Hossam Hassan, defended resolutely in the additional 30 minutes and forced the contest into a penalty shootout.
Jordan will now prepare for the two-legged tie against South American opposition in November.