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Jazira, Faisali aim to boost lead in AFC Cup

By Aline Bannayan - Mar 04,2018 - Last updated at Mar 04,2018

AMMAN — Jazira play Oman’s Suweiq, while Faisali host Oman’s Dhofar on Monday in Stage 3 of the 15th Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup.

Both teams aim to consolidate their leads atop groups A and C after both teams took the lead last week as Jazira beat Bahrain’s Malikieh 1-0, while Faisali upset Lebanon’s Ansar 3-1 as both Jordanian clubs upset the group leaders of the second-tier Asian club competition after both were held to draws in stage 1, as Jazira held Iraqi Air Force Club and Faisali held Syria’s Wihdeh 2-2. 

So far in Group A, Malikieh beat Oman’s Suweiq 4-1 and Iraqi Air Force Club beat Suweiq 1-0. In Group C, Ansar beat Oman’s Dhofar 2-0 and Wihdeh held Dhofar 0-0. The top teams from each group, in addition to the best second placed team, will move to the second round of the competition.

Earlier this season, reigning Jordanian League and Cup champs Faisali were eliminated from the 2018 AFC Champions League play-off match, and failed to reach the group stages of Asia’s elite club competition and settled to play the AFC Cup. Jordanian teams have never before made it past the ACL preliminary round. Wihdat were knocked out in 2017, 2016 and 2015, while Shabab Urdun were eliminated in 2014.

On the Arab scene, Faisali finished runner-up to Tunisia’s Tarajji in the last edition of the Arab Clubs Championships after an impressive performance which included two wins over Egyptian veterans Ahli.

Last season, Ahli played the AFC Cup for the first time and Wihdat reached the West Asia zone semifinals the winner of which faced the winner from the rest of the Asian zones to decide the AFC Cup champion, won by Iraqi Air Force Club for the second year running. The AFC Cup was previously won three times by Jordanian teams. Faisali won in 2005 and 2006, and Shabab Urdun won in 2007. Other Jordanian teams competing included Wihdat, Jazira, Ramtha, Hussein and That Ras. 

Locally, reigning league and Jordan Cup champs Faisali beat Jazira to win the 35th Jordan Super Cup. Wihdat beat Jazira to win the Jordan Football Association Shield. In the Jordan Cup, Jazira ousted Faisali while Shabab Urdun eliminated Wihdat to reach the final.

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