Jordan into Asian playoff after beating Oman 1-0AP , Associated Press
Jun. 18, 2013 3:51 PM ET
AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Jordan stunned Oman 1-0 Tuesday to book its place in the Asian zone playoff against Uzbekistan and keep its hopes alive of reaching its first World Cup.
After a scoreless first half, Jordan began pressing and was rewarded in the 57th minute when Khalil BaniAteyah sent a cross to Ahmad Hayel Ibrahim who scored with a diving header. The goal set off a frenzy in the packed stadium in Amman, with fans waving Jordanian flags and holding their children aloft in celebration.
It finished third behind Japan and Australia which qualified outright in Group B.
"This is a great win for Jordan," Jordan Football Association Vice President Salah Sabra said. "We are looking forward to getting ready for Uzbekistan after this crucial win against Oman. Jordan is prepared for all scenarios at this stage."
Jordan and Uzbekistan will meet Sept. 6 and 10. The winner of that series will play the fifth-place team from South America for a place at the World Cup. That playoff is scheduled Nov. 15 and 19.
Oman, coming off a victory over Iraq and needing only a draw to advance, seemed the more poised side in the first half. Qasim Said sent in a header in the eighth minute which was saved by Jordan's goalkeeper Amer Shafi and Ismail al-Ajmi unleashed a shot that just missed the left post in the 26th.
But Oman was let down by its finishing all night and struggled in the later stages to break down Jordan's defense. Paul Le Guen's side had the bulk of the possession in the final 15 minutes but poor passing and fatigue undermine its attacking abilities.
Saad al-Mukhaini had its best chance in the final stages, firing a blistering drive in the 83rd minute that was tipped over by Shafi.