Sudan holds Jordan, Kuwait knocks out Oman
DOHA SUDAN held Jordan to a goalless draw in a group match of the 12th Arab Games football at the Gharafa Stadium on Wednesday.
With the result, both sides are locked on four points with Jordan at the top of the table due to better goal difference.
Jordan was favourite to win the match but poor finishing from its forwards marred its efforts.
Two players were shown red card. First was Jordan’s Fraeh Ra‘ed in the 53rd minute after receiving his second yellow card and Sudan’s Hassa el Taher in the 81st minute.
Jordan’s two-goal hero in its opening match Al Daradreh Hamza was its worst culprit in goal misses complemented by Salem Abdullah.
Although Jordan dominated the match, its lack of creativity was the main challenge for Coach Haman Adnan.
Jordan started with a wing formation that allowed Fraeh Ra’ed to operate from the left side of the pitch; his dashing run and delicate cross into the Sudanese box in the 10th minute created a nice opening.
However, Sudanese goalkeeper Saleem Akram foiled Daradreh, who was waiting to pounce on the ball.
Sudan’s only clear-cut of the first half chance came in the 12th minute when Eltaher Mousa and Eltab Orwah combined to find space inside the Jordanian six-yard, but goalkeeper Alamaireh Lo’ai rushed to make a frantic clearance.
The Jordanians held the sawy in the rest of the half.
Salem Abdullah had the best chance in the 21st minute when he had just Saleem to beat, but the goalkeeper displayed guts to effect the save.
Another chance came to Daradreh in the 37th minute but Saleem was on hand to collect his weak shot from the edge of the box.
Jordan came close to breaking the deadlock on resumption.
Saleem was managed to end Salem Abdullah’s dazzling move before it could create problems.
Bani Khalid Rakan of Jordan should have scored in the 52nd minute when an intelligent chip from the right side of the Sudanese defence sent him to free area. The striker had time to position himself well to shoot but he somehow could not do the justice the chance. Within five minutes, Saleem denied Daradreh again.
There were four extra minutes added to the regulation time. With neither trying to be adventurous, the match meandered into a draw, leaving coaches having some work to do to improve their teams.
In another match at the Rayyan Stadium, Kuwait defeated Oman 2-0 to lead the group with three points. It is followed by Saudi Arabia having its next match against Kuwait. Substitute Yousef al Sulaiman scored twice late into the second half. The defeat sealed the fate of Oman.
Meanwhile, Iraq’s 3-0 defeat by Bahrain on Tuesday hurt it in more ways than simply early elimination from the 2011 Arab Games football tournament.
Brazilian head coach, the legendary Zico was subject to acidic questions from Iaqi press resulting him saying, “I don’t like your methods,” he told them on Tuesday. “You came here to try to kill me after a loss. Why didn’t you come to me earlier to talk about the team and ask your questions?”