[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.