Al-Mannai's Last-Gasp Strike Sends Qatar Into Quarters

(MENAFN- Gulf Times) Qatar sealed their place in the AFC U-23 Asian Cup knockout stage in dramatic fashion with a last-gasp 2-1 victory against Jordan at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium on Thursday. Both teams looked set to share the spoils in their second Group A encounter until Mohamed al-Mannai headed in a free-kick deep in the 13th minute of added time, with VAR confirming the goal after a review to see Qatar become the first side to qualify from the group stage.
Determined to claim their first win after opening their campaign with a stalemate against Australia, Jordan put their hosts under pressure from the start and Baker Kalbouneh had a sight of goal after just 90 seconds, only to see his low shot saved.
Sief Darwish then had a shot blocked before Moustafa Mashal registered Qatar's first effort on target on 21 minutes when he met Khaled Ali's pass with a header but it was easily held by Ahmad Juaidi.
While the Jordanians saw more of the ball, they lacked a cutting edge upfront and were made to pay in the 40th minute as they fell behind. Saifeldeen Hassan started a flowing move from left-back and after surging into the centre of the pitch, he picked out Ali on the right. The winger, in turn, released an overlapping Abdulla al-Yazidi and the right-back's attempted cross ended up in the far corner instead to break the deadlock.
Conceding the goal only served to spur on Jordan and they were rewarded for a bright start to the second half when, following a VAR review, Amer Jamous was adjudged to have been fouled in the box.
Aref Haitham stepped up and coolly sent Yousef Abdullah to the right and the penalty into the bottom left corner for the equaliser in the 52nd minute.
The home side tried to hit back immediately two minutes later and Juaidi had to be alert to tip over a fierce strike from distance by Hassan. A good opportunity was spurned by Haitham late on after he raced clear down the left but that miss was to be severely punished as the game moved into added time.
Substitutes Jassem al-Sharshani and al-Mannai combined to devastating effect after Qatar earned a free-kick on the right, with the former's inviting delivery met by a thumping header from his team-mate to clinch all three points as Jordan were left stunned.
Teguh goal helps Indonesia
stun Australia
Komang Teguh's first half header earned tournament debutants Indonesia a 1-0 win over Australia at Abdullah Bin Khalifa Stadium in Group A to reignite his nation's challenge for a place in the quarter-finals.
Ernando Ari Sutaryadi saved Mohamed Toure's 25th minute penalty before Komang's close range header 20 minutes later allowed Shin Tae-yong's team to pick up their first win of the campaign after an opening 2-0 loss against hosts Qatar.
The result leaves Australia on one point from two games having drawn with Jordan in their first match of the competition and Tony Vidmar's side needs to win against the Qataris in the final round of group matches on Sunday to have any chance of progressing.
Playing in front of a raucous band of Indonesian fans, Shin's side threatened as early as the second minute, Jeam Kelly's rising shot deflected wide after Rafael Struick's pull back had found the Persik forward with time to take aim.
As the half entered the final minute the Indonesians took the lead. Witan Sulaeman's corner was nodded by Kelly to Nathan Tjoe-A-On on the edge of the area and his mishit shot was headed beyond Beach by Komang from six yards out.
Ernando denied Toure again seven minutes after the interval with a stop low to his right while Jacob Italiano's attempt was deflected wide for a corner as the Australians steadily increased the pressure. Toure thumped his shot over the bar from the edge of the area with 15 minutes remaining and Vidmar introduced FIFA World Cup forward Garang Kuol in a late effort to find a way through, but the Indonesians held on.


Gulf Times

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