AFC Asian Cup QF: Vietnam oust Jordan 4-2 on penalties

By Angel Chan

DUBAI 21 January 2019: Vietnam sealed a place in the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 quarter-finals, defeating Jordan 4-2 on penalties after their Round of 16 tie ended 1-1 at the Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai on Sunday.

Up next for Vietnam will be the winners of the Japan-Saudi Arabia last 16 tie, with the quarter-final to be also played at Al Maktoum Stadium.

But Jordan gets get some consolation when their team of seven talented amateur and former professional football players were crowned the Asian Community Cup champions in a long-running grassroots competition that reached its conclusion yesterday on the stunning pitches surrounding the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

Captain Issam Abu Toq and his strong team overcame the Yemen team on penalties in a highly-competitive encounter that produced some sublime football to win the coveted trophy and behind-the-scenes VIP access to the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 final on 1st February 2019.

The action at the national stadium marked the culmination of four months of high-quality community football, which has seen 96 teams from 22 different Asian nations compete across Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah in a tournament that mirrored the competition taking place in the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019. An incredible 803 goals were scored over 195 exciting matches in the wide-scale initiative that connected people, cultures and nationalities through a shared love for the beautiful game.

Speaking on the sidelines following a nerve-wracking penalty shoot-out, Jordan captain Issam Abu Toq said: “It was great tournament, fantastic opportunity to participate with my team. Tournaments like these bring people together and we were able to meet a lot of talented players and I say this as a former professional player myself!”

His team coach Abdulghani Hamad also reflected on the four-month competition: “We had a tough draw throughout the tournament, facing several strong teams such as Islamic Republic of Iran.

“Yet, the best part of the competition was spending time and interacting with different people and the quality of talent on display. As for the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019, I also think Jordan are favourites!”

Ibraheem from runners-up, Yemen, congratulated his Jordanian opponents following a gripping final, adding: “Both teams played very well. It was an excellent tournament and our team gave their best, but penalties are unpredictable. Football ultimately is the winner as it brings people together and that’s what happened here today.”

Dubai Gazette