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Fans indulge in shows of solidarity, unconcerned with Jordan-Palestine match results

Nashama held to goalless draw by Palestine to progress as Group B winners in Asia Cup

By Muath Freij - Jan 15,2019 - Last updated at Jan 15,2019

Children donning the Jordanian and Palestinian scarves flash the victory gesture at the Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi ahead of Jordan’s Asia Cup match against Palestine (Photo courtesy of Jordan Olympic Committee)

AMMAN — Jordan’s Nashama on Tuesday was held to a goalless draw by Palestine in a fiery clash to preserve its unbeaten record and progress as the Group B winner in Abu Dhabi, but the Asia Cup football match was not only a matter of clinching results, but a demonstration of the close bond between the two peoples.

The 0-0 draw gave the Palestinians hope of qualifying as one of the best third-placed teams in the game, described by many football experts as the “derby of Sham [Greater Syria]”, but fans seemed not that concerned about the result, thrilled instead to take part in shows of solidarity. 

A Facebook page dubbed “The Jordanian National Team”, and dedicated to news about Jordanian football, shared a live video from the stadium on Tuesday that shows fans wearing the Jordanian and Palestinian scarves and raising them side by side.

Hours before the start of the game, users took to social media to express the unique relationship between the two nations.

A hashtag dubbed #Jordan_Palestine was among the top trends in the Kingdom.

Farah Al Aker described Palestinians and Jordanians as “brothers” in a Tweet.

“We are both winners, it’s like a game between two brothers and the audience is the mother, would she be biased would she be happy for whichever is the winner? So let’s be supportive of those brothers and enjoy the match,” she said.

“Jordan and Palestine are two eyes in one head. Our heart is one and our destiny is one. Best of luck for both teams,” Osama Ahmad Tweeted.

“Today we are both winners, so this is what a match between bothers looks like,” Dana Alkhateeb said on her Twitter account. 

Twice quarter-finalist, in 2004 and 2011, Jordan stunned holders Australia in the opening game before beating Syria 2-0, but it found plucky Palestine a tougher nut to crack, AFP reported.

Abdallatif Al Bahdari’s header gave Jordan a scare on the hour-mark of a match that was not one for football purists.

Jordan came close when Ahmad Ersan’s long-range blast was blocked by Palestine goalkeeper Rami Hamada before the game petered out with both sides content to take a draw.

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