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Jazira to play Iraqi Air Force in AFC Cup zonal final

By Aline Bannayan - May 16,2018 - Last updated at May 16,2018

Jazira’s Musa Al Taamari reacts after scoring against Faisali in their 2018 AFC Cup match on Monday in Amman (Photo courtesy of the-afc.com)

AMMAN — Jazira will play the Iraqi Air Force Club in the 15th Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup West Asia Zone final set for September 18 in Amman and October 2 in Iraq.

Jazira overcame Faisali in the semifinal tying 1-1 before winning 1-0, as the Iraqi Air Force Club beat Lebanon’s Ahed 3-1 and tied 2-2 to qualify.

The winner from the West Asia zone final will face the winner from the rest of the Asian zones to decide the AFC Cup titlist with prize money set at $ 1.5 million for the champion. 

Jazira will aim to have a shot at the title after completing a good season. They finished runner-up in the league and Jordan Football Association (JFA) Shield, and will now play the Jordan Cup.

The AFC Cup was previously won three times by Jordanian teams. Faisali won titles in 2005 and 2006, while Shabab Urdun won in 2007. Other Jordanian teams that competed are Wihdat, Jazira, Ramtha, Hussein and That Ras. This season, a Jordanian club again has a chance at the title if they win the zonal final of the second-tier Asian club competition. Last year, Iraqi Air Force Club won the AFC Cup for the second year running.

After Faisali finished runner-up to Tunisia’s Tarajji in the last edition of the Arab Clubs Championships including two wins over Egyptian veterans Ahli, the reigning Jordanian League and Cup champs were eliminated from the 2018 AFC Champions League play-off match and failed to reach the group stages of Asia’s elite club competition and settled to play the AFC Cup. Jordanian teams have never before made it past the ACL preliminary round. Wihdat were knocked out in 2017, 2016 and 2015, while Shabab Urdun were eliminated in 2014.

Locally, so far this season, Wihdat won their 16th league title and beat Jazira to win the JFA Shield. Faisali beat Jazira to win the 35th Jordan Super Cup while Jazira ousted Faisali, while Shabab Urdun eliminated Wihdat to reach the Jordan Cup final.

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