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Jazira, Faisali reach AFC Cup zonal semis

By Aline Bannayan - Apr 25,2018 - Last updated at Apr 25,2018

AMMAN — Jazira and Faisali will face off in the 15th Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup West Asia Zone semis on May 7 and 14 making sure one Jordanian team will be in the zonal final of the second-tier Asian club competition.

The first stage ended with both Jordanian teams leading their groups as the top teams from each group, in addition to the best second placed moved to the semis. Iraqi Air Force Club will face Lebanon’s Ahed in the other semifinal following which the West Asia zone champ will face the winner from the rest of the Asian zones to decide the AFC Cup titlist with prize money set at $ 1.5 million for the champion. 

In the last week of group stage matches Faisali beat Lebanon’s Ansar 1-0 while Jazira beat Bahrain’s Malikieh 2-1.

Last year, Iraqi Air Force Club won the AFC Cup for the second year running. The competition was previously won three times by Jordanian teams: Faisali in 2005 and 2006, and Shabab Urdun won in 2007. Other Jordanian teams that competed are Wihdat, Jazira, Ramtha, Hussein and That Ras.

After Faisali finished runner-up to Tunisia’s Tarajji in the last edition of the Arab Clubs Championships including two wins over Egyptian veterans Ahli, the reigning Jordan Professional League and Jordan Cup champs 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.

Locally, so far this season, 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. Wihdat lead the league so far.

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