Saudis crash out of Asian Cup
Baha Abdulrahman scored the only goal of the game three minutes before the break to secure Jordan's first win in Group B and condemn the Saudis to a second successive defeat that will see them heading home early. Jordan now have four points with Syria - who play Japan later today - on three.
The Saudis' short time at the tournament has been tumultuous. Following their opening game defeat to Syria they made the decision to sack Jose Peseiro and replace him with Nassir Al Johar.
Al Johar was philosophical about the defeat. "We played very well and we created opportunities to score, especially in the second half, but we were not lucky and this is football," he said. "Maybe we'll do better in the future."
Jordan's Iraqi coach Adnan Hamad admitted his team was lucky, and said they would build on their good fortune. "We played a very difficult match today and I want to thank my team for an outstanding performance," he said. "We aimed to just keep it level in the first half but we were lucky to score. We still have a lot more work to do though and our expectations are getting bigger."
Saudi Arabia were the better side in this match for the first quarter of an hour and were the first to threaten after 16 minutes when Mohammed Al Shalhoub's cross from the right was headed goalwards by Naif Hazazi, but Amer Shafi reacted quickly to save the ball. The Saudis continued to press and should have opened the scoring in the 19th minute but Hazazi's powerful shot from outside the area flew over the crossbar.
Jordan created their first chance in the 21st minute when skipper Basher Bani Yaseen shot straight at keeper Waleed Abdullah, but the game belonged to the Saudis who were dominating the midfield.
However, the Jordanians stunned their opponents in the 42nd minute when Abdulrahman delivered a cross from outside the area but Abdullah misjudged the direction of the ball and it sailed beyond the shotstopper and into the net. It could have been 2-0 seconds before the break when Odai Al Saify went one-on-one with Abdullah but the Saudi keeper did well to save the ball.
The Saudis came out fighting in the second half but were still finding clear cut chances hard to come by. They failed to really threaten again until 15 minutes from time when Taiseer Al Jassam dribbled the ball into the area after exchanging passes with Nassier Al Shamrani, but Jordan keeper Amer Shafi reacted quickly to rush out and save the ball.
The Green Falcons continued to dominate and, when five minutes of stoppage time was shown by the fourth official, it seemed certain they were to snatch a late equaliser, but Jordan held firm to defend their slender lead to the final whistle.