Palestine’s Asian Cup hopes were rescued by Australia as a 0-0 draw with Jordan eventually proved enough for them to finish third in Group B.
The stalemate appeared to have been in vain for Palestine as the contest finished with Syria on course to take third as they were level 2-2 with Australia in injury time, only for a late Socceroos winner to dash their hopes and spark jubilant scenes among the Palestinian fans in Abu Dhabi.
Jordan’s wins over Australia and Syria had already assured them of a place in the knock-out rounds and they played like a team with little on the line as Palestine had largely the better of Tuesday’s contest.
Palestine were thumped 5-1 by Jordan in their only other appearance at the Asian Cup in 2015 but such a rout was never on the cards this time around.
Had Palestine been more clinical in front of goal they may have taken all three points, but it mattered not as Tom Rogic’s stoppage-time effort in Al Ain kept their dream alive, while Jordan top the group.
FULL-TIME | PLE 0 – 0 JOR
— #AsianCup2019 (@afcasiancup) January 15, 2019
The first half was low on clear-cut opportunities but Palestine captain Abdallatif Al Bahdari forced Amer Shafi to tip over the crossbar when he met Tamer Seyam’s corner.
Baha Abdel-Rahman’s ambitious long-range effort flew narrowly over at the other end but Jordan would have fallen behind in the second half had Oday Dabbagh made more of the game’s best chance.
Dabbagh ballooned a header over from Musab Battat’s right-wing cross with all of the goal to aim at, before the excellent Al Bahdari headed straight at Shafi from a corner.
The finishing touch deserted Palestine, but their despair turned to joy as news of Australia’s winner filtered through, though they must now wait on other results to see if they will contest a knock-out game.
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