In what will be their first-ever appearance at the semi-finals of the Asian Cup, Jordan will battle South Korea on Tuesday at Ahmed bin Ali Stadium.
An own goal in the second half enabled the Jordanians to edge Tajikistan 1-0 in their previous encounter, while the Taegeuk Warriors came back to defeat Australia 2-1 in extra time.
After falling to make it beyond the last eight in their previous two attempts at this tournament, the third time proved to be the charm for Jordan on Friday.
It was a stroke of good fortune which was ultimately enough to put Hussein Ammouta’s men ahead of Tajikistan, with their opponents hitting the woodwork in the opening half and with the better scoring opportunities.
On Friday, Jordan posted their second clean sheet of the competition, which was the first time this team had emerged victorious from a quarter-final match in any international tournament.
Qatar seems to bring this nation good luck, with their previous semi-final appearance coming at the Western Asian Football Federation (WAFF) Championship in Qatar between 2013-14, losing in the final to the hosts mentioned above.
They are not only on the verge of their first appearance in the final of this tournament, but they could also earn a third successive triumph in normal time on Tuesday, which would be their longest winning run since June-September 2022 (five matches).
Jordan have never defeated the Koreans before but were minutes away from doing so in the group phase of this competition, before an own goal by Yazan Al-Arab in stoppage time cost the Chivalrous two points.
Late drama has been the story surrounding South Korea throughout this competition, and against the Socceroos on Friday, it kept their Asian Cup hopes alive.
The South Koreans have scored a goal in second-half stoppage time in three consecutive matches at this tournament, while netting five of their last six goals beyond the 80th minute.
Jurgen Klinsmann’s tenure as manager of the Asian Tigers has not gone smoothly, from unpopular player selections to the perceived disrespect many believe he has towards their domestic league, while also not living in Korea, the German is not exactly a beloved figure among the supporters.
However, he has them on the verge of their first Asian Cup final since 2015, while making the semi-finals in every continental competition he has coached in for a national team, be it as the USA boss at the CONCACAF Gold Cup or the Asian Cup with Korea.
While it is debatable whether this team have performed exceptionally well under Klinsmann, his attacking style has yielded plenty of goals, with South Korea netting in 11 successive matches in all competitions.
Korea have been relatively sharp defensively against Jordan, keeping them off the scoresheet in four of their six meetings all-time.
Hamza Al-Dardour missed the quarter-final match for Jordan, having been red-carded deep into stoppage time of their dramatic 3-2 come-from-behind victory over Iraq in the round of 16.
We only saw one newcomer to their starting 11 from that match to their quarter-final encounter, with Noor Al-Rawabdeh replacing Nizar Al-Rashdan.
An own-goal from Vakhdat Khanonov enabled the Jordanians to advance into the semis, as Yazid Abu Laila stopped the only two shots fired his way for his second clean sheet of the competition.
Kim Seung-gyu is out after sustaining a cruciate ligament injury in the group stage, while there were two changes made to the Korean starting 11 from their round of 16 fixture to their quarter-final clash, with Park Yong-woo and Hwang Hee-chan replacing Jung Seung-hyun and Lee Jae-sung.
Kim Young-gwon is two appearances away from 110, which would match Ki Sung-yueng for ninth all-time, Kim Tae-hwan reached 30 on Friday, while Lee Kang-in is one away from 25.
Hwang Hee-Chan converted his penalty deep into stoppage time versus the Socceroos to force extra time where, a brilliant free kick from captain Son Heung-min sent the South Koreans into the semi-finals, the 44th international goal for the Tottenham forward, who can surpass Yoo Sang-chul for sixth in all-time caps on Tuesday.
Jordan possible starting lineup:
Aby Laila; Nasib, Al-Arab, Al-Ajalin; Haddad, Ayed, Sadeh, Al-Mardi; Al-Taamari, Olwan; Al-Naimat
South Korea possible starting lineup:
Hyeon-woo; Tae-hwan, Min-jae, Young-gwon, Young-woo; Jin-seop, In-beom; Kang-in, Heung-min, Hee-chan; Gue-sung
We say: Jordan 1-2 South Korea
It is a tremendous achievement for Jordan to have made it this far, but we do not believe they have enough depth or experience to handle a match of this magnitude.
Korea tend to leave it late, but their resilience and overall quality should be enough to put them within a game of their first Asian Cup since 1960.