DOHA - Maya Yoshida had a goal disallowed,
deflected a shot into his own net and headed an injury-time
equaliser as Japan drew 1-1 with Jordan in the Asian Cup on
The three-time Asian champions were seconds away from a
shock defeat to a side ranked 104th in the world, 75 places
below Japan in FIFA's rankings, when defender Yoshida headed
home skipper Makoto Hasebe's cross unmarked at the far post in
their opening Group B match at the Qatar Sports Club Stadium.
Jordan, in only their second appearance in the continent's
major championship, looked set for a deserved win after taking
the lead through Hasan Abdel-Fattah just before half-time.
Abdel-Fattah's shot from the edge of the box took a
deflection off the foot of Yoshida, who thought he had scored
after 25 minutes before his effort was ruled out for an
"I could not have imagined this result," Japan's Italian
coach, Alberto Zaccheroni, told reporters.
"We had expected to win. We had prepared well. We had all
the possession in the first half and forced Jordan to play
"We need to improve in front of goal. I am pleased we made
chances, but we need to take them."
Jordan's Iraqi coach, Adnan Hamad, said he was sad that his
side could not hold on to their lead and win.
"We had victory within our grasp - it was a sad result in
the end, but not a bad result," he said.
The match began in hot, bright winter sunshine in the modest
Qatar Sports Stadium dominated by Doha's burgeoning skyscraper
The 6,000 fans, which half-filled its 12,000 capacity, were
mainly Jordanian supporters, and they maintained incessant noise
as their team refused to be overawed by the more experienced
Japan, aiming for an unprecedented fourth title, settled
first and spent most of the opening 45 minutes keeping
possession almost at will in Jordan's half.
Daisuke Matsui and Hasebe were at the heart of most of their
forward flowing moves but, to their credit, Jordan, with
midfielder Baha Abdelrahman working feverishly, also crafted
some good chances.
At the back they defended well, with goalkeeper Amer Shafi
producing some fine saves to earn the man-of-the-match award.
He did well to thwart Shinji Kagawa after 41 minutes, when
the Germany-based Borussia Dortmund striker fired straight at
him after another fine pass from Matsui. It proved a costly miss
Although on the back foot for most of the half, Jordan
looked dangerous twice before they took the lead. Hasan fired
straight at keeper Eiji Kawashima after 29 minutes and Basem
Fathi headed narrowly wide from a corner seven minutes before
Abdel-Fattah was a constant threat to Japan, who will need
to improve against Syria and Saudi Arabia if they are to make
the last eight.
On this performance, Jordan could prove a serious threat for
both of those teams in their next two games.
Borussia Dortmund's Mario Gotze ruled out of Champions League final against Bayern Munich
Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini will leave the La Liga club at the end of the current season
Stoke City and manager Tony Pulis part company by mutual agreement after seven years
Andy Carroll pulls out of England's friendly internationals against Ireland and Brazil
Ten years on, the legends speak to FFT
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
He's here, he's there, he's...
The cost of Premier League away travel
Nike CR7 IX for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010