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Surprise Jordan eliminates Saudis
by Paul Kennedy, January 13th, 2011 3:17PM

TAGS:  asian cup, japan


[ASIAN CUP] A change in coaches didn't help Saudi Arabia this time. Just three days after Jose Peseiro was fired following an opening 2-1 loss to Syria, the Saudis fell to surprise Jordan, 1-0, and were eliminated from the Asian Cup. Jordan and Japan, a 2-1 winner over Syria despite losing goalie Eiji Kawashima to a red card, are tied for first place in Group B after two games.

Saudi Arabia replaced Peseiro with Nasser Al-Johar. In similar circumstances, Al-Johar took over after the first game of the 2002 Asian Cup and led the Saudis to the final.

Also runner-up at the last tournament, Saudi Arabia lost on a blunder by goalkeeper Waleed Abdullah, who allowed Baha Abdelrahman's cross to float over his head and into the goal.

CSKA Moscow star Keisuke Honda converted a penalty kick in the 82nd minute to give pre-tournament favorite Japan a nervous win.

Makoto Hasebi scored in the 35th minute to give Japan the lead, but Firas al-Khatib tied the score on a penalty kick in the 76th minute.

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