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Hero’s welcome for Hossam Hassan as Jordan reach World Cup play-off

Posted on September 11, 2013

was greeted like a hero upon his arrival in Jordan after Al-Nashama qualified for an intercontinental play-off on Tuesday with a win on penalties in Uzbekistan.

Jordan won 9-8 on penalties in Uzbekistan on Tuesday to book an intercontinental play-off against the fifth-placed finishers in South American qualifying – currently Uruguay – for a place at next year’s World Cup in Brazil.

Uzbekistan opened the scoring after five minutes through Anzur Ismailov’s close-range strike to send their supporters wild until Saeed Murjan equalised for the visiting Jordanians with a stunning 25-yard half-volley just before half-time.

Despite Uzbekistan controlling possession in a tense second-half, the hosts failed to convert their chances into goals and neither side could find the winner as the game went into extra time.

The floodlights failed at the Pakhtakor Stadium 10 minutes into the first half of extra time, prompting a massive delay of 18 minutes.

Jordan, coached by Egyptian legend Hossam Hassan, were solid defensively in the additional time and eventually forced the contest into a penalty shootout, which they won 9-8.

Iraqi Coach Adnan Hamad left Hossam Hassan with huge shoes to fill after the former surprisingly left his post straight after Jordan’s 1-0 win against Oman, which saw them reach these play-offs, but the Egyptian legend knew this well: “When I signed up, I knew how tough this period would be.”

Hassan is eager to complete Hamad’s good work himself with a World Cup spot, despite the difficulties endured since his allocation to the post two months ago: “I’m confident our side will be competitive and qualify. That’s our objective and we’ll do it,” he told a few days prior to the first leg in Amman – where the Asian rivals drew 1-1.

Jordan will now prepare for the two-legged tie against South American opposition in November.

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