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Football: Singapore handed 3-1 defeat by Jordan

Jordan booked a spot in next year’s Asian Cup tournament in Australia after they defeated Singapore 3-1 on Tuesday in a match overshadowed by controversial refereeing decisions at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

SINGAPORE: Jordan booked a spot in next year’s Asian Cup tournament in Australia after they defeated Singapore 3-1 on Tuesday in a match overshadowed by controversial refereeing decisions at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

Strikers Thaer and Ahmad Hayel gave the visitors a 2-0 lead before Lions XII forward Khairul Amri’s penalty brought Singapore back into the game. Substitute Youssef Ahmad sealed the points for Jordan with a third goal four minutes from time.

Both sides were also controversially reduced to ten men.

Centre-back Baihakki Khaizan was shown a straight red card for an alleged barge while Jordan captain Ahmad Hayel was shown a second yellow card in the second half despite winning the ball with his challenge.

Singapore conceded possession cheaply in the opening minutes of the first half and goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud had to pull off several saves to deny the visitors from taking the lead.

But Jordan’s persistence paid off in the dying minutes of the first-half.

Shakir Hamzah conceded a foul on the edge of the area and Thaer converted the free-kick to break the deadlock. The Lions claimed Hafiz Abu Sujad was tripped as he tried to close Thaer down but the referee waved away their protests.

Things got from bad to worse for Singapore barely a minute later after Baihakki was shown a straight red card. The centre-back was accused of barging into midfielder Mus’ab Allahham but television replays suggested that contact was minimal.

Singapore started the second-half brightly despite being a man down but it was Jordan who doubled their lead in the 58th minute.

Ahmad Hayel was left unmarked at a corner-kick and the Jordan captain capitalised on the poor defending to give his side a 2-0 advantage.

But the striker’s match was cut short after he was given his marching orders in the 70th minute, a decision met with cheers by the Jalan Besar crowd.

Singapore managed to trim Jordan’s lead in the 84th minute after they were awarded a penalty for handball. Replays showed that the referee made the wrong decision again as Safuwan’s cross hit the Jordan defender in the chest.

Khairul stepped up and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to set up a tense finale.

The result was put beyond doubt in the 86th minute when substitute Youssef Ahmad calmly chipped the ball over Izwan to restore Jordan’s two-goal lead.

Singapore’s final Group A game will be against Oman on March 5.


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