Jordan defeats South Korea 2-0 to reach first Asian Cup final in Qatar
Jordan has advanced to the Asian Cup final for the first time after stunning South Korea 2-0 in Al Rayyan.
Yazan Al Naimat and Mousa Tamari struck in the second half at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium to knock out one of the pre-tournament favourites, who defeated the Socceroos in the quarterfinals.
Jordan will face Iran or defending champion Qatar in the final this weekend. The second semifinal will be played on Thursday AEDT.
Al Naimat opened the scoring for Jordan in the 53rd minute by flicking a shot beyond South Korea goalkeeper Jo Hyeon-woo, who had pulled off a series of saves to keep the score level.
Tamari made it 2-0 in the 66th minute with a long-range effort.
Two-time champion South Korea was aiming to win its first Asian Cup since 1960.
It needed a stoppage-time own goal to secure a draw with Jordan in the group stage and mounted late comebacks in the round of 16 and quarterfinals against Saudi Arabia and Australia, respectively.
But a repeat never looked likely on this occasion.
Jordan, playing in its first Asian Cup semifinal, showed little sign of being overwhelmed by the occasion.
Noor Al-Rawabdeh and Al Naimat both forced saves from Jo in the early stages and Tamari fired narrowly wide with another effort.
South Korea struggled to create openings but came close to going ahead just after the half-hour mark. Lee Jae-sung stooped to meet Hwang In-beom’s cross from the right, but his header came back off the foot of the post.
Jordan emerged after half-time looking the more threatening of the two sides and took the lead eight minutes after the restart.
A loose pass from Park Yong-woo was seized upon by Tamari and he fed Al Naimat.
The forward was not to be denied on this occasion and he flicked a shot over the advancing Jo to spark wild celebrations within the crowd of 42,850.
The cheers were even louder when Jordan doubled the lead 13 minutes later through a brilliant solo goal from Tamari.
Running from deep in South Korea’s half, he carried the ball to the edge of the box before curling a low shot into the bottom corner.