Asian Cup: South Korea salvage dramatic draw against Jordan

By Sports Desk January 20, 2024

Despite going ahead after an early strike by Son Heung-min, South Korea needed a last-minute own goal to salvage a 2-2 draw with Jordan at the Asian Cup.

Yazan Al-Arab's late intervention at the Al Thumama Stadium prevented a second surprise result in the space of 24 hours after Iraq had stunned tournament favourites Japan.

The draw leaves both South Korea, led by former United States coach Jurgen Klinsmann, and Jordan with four points from the first two games in Group E.

"It was a very, very intense game, which we expected," Klinsmann said. 

"After we got the lead, we were too slow. We were not physical enough. We lost one-on-one battles on the field, and that gave them a lot of energy."

Klinsmann, who won the 1990 World Cup with West Germany, was more satisfied with the second-half fightback.

He added: "We were in control. We created enough chances to win this game. Still, a tie is fine at the end of the day."

South Korea, two-time champions but searching for a first title since 1960, started well. After just five minutes, Son was fouled in the area by Ehsan Haddad. After a four-minute long VAR check, the Tottenham captain scored from the spot.

Jordan levelled after 37 minutes as Park Yong-woo headed a corner into his own net. Six minutes into first-half stoppage time, Jordan took the lead on Yazan Al-Naimat's goal.

But South Korea's pressure paid off in the first minute of second-half stoppage time. Son pulled the ball back in the area for Hwang In-beom and the low shot from the Red Star Belgrade midfielder was turned into his own goal by Al Arab.

Also in Group E, Bahrain beat Malaysia 1-0 to go third with three points. Ali Madan scored the only goal of the game in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time to leave Malaysia pointless.

The top two from each of the six groups advance to the round of 16, where they are joined by the four best-performing third-place teams.

The entertaining Saturday play came after two low-scoring affairs rounded out the action on Friday.

Indonesia moved level with Japan in the Group D standings after beating Vietnam 1-0.

The deadlock was broken after 42 minutes when Nguyen Thanh Binh pulled Rafael Struick's shirt in the area. Captain Asnawi Mangkualam fired home the penalty to give Indonesia a chance of a place in the knockout stage for the first time.

Vietnam, who have lost both of their games, were reduced to 10 men late in the game after Le Pham Thanh Long's second yellow card.

In Group C, Iran defeated Hong Kong 1-0 to secure a place in the round of 16. Mehdi Ghayedi scored with more than an hour left.

The win put three-time champions Iran on top, two points ahead of the United Arab Emirates. The teams meet on Tuesday.

Hong Kong stayed bottom with successive defeats and are a point behind their final group opponents Palestine.

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