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Wihdat, Ahli aim to advance in AFC Cup

By Aline Bannayan - Apr 03,2017 - Last updated at Apr 03,2017

AMMAN — Ahli, host Oman’s Suweiq, while Wihdat play Saham in Oman on Tuesday in Stage 4 of the 14th Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup.

Wihdat now lead Group C as they beat Oman’s Saham 2-1, scored a 1-0 win over Lebanon’s Nijmeh and held Bahrain’s Muharraq 1-1.

Representing Jordan in the AFC Cup for the first time, Jordan Cup titleholders Ahli are now third in Group A after they held Oman’s Suweiq 0-0 and Iraq’s Zawra 1-1, and lost their opening match 1-0 to Syria’s Jeish. 

Ahli need a win to advance up the standings with Group A led by Jeish, who beat Suweiq and Ahli 1-0 but went down 3-1 to Zawraa. 

This year, prize money has been set at $1 million for the winner and $500,000 for the runner-up. Clubs from 5 Asian Zones are competing in eight groups, with the top two from each group advancing to the Round of 16. 

This season, Wihdat reached the Jordan Cup semis and now lead the Jordan Professional Football League. They have been league champs for the past three seasons, and won the title for the 15th time last year since moving up to the league in 1975.

Ahli started the season beating league champs Wihdat 2-1 to win the 34th Super Cup — the first major competition on the 2016/17 football calendar. However, recently Ahli have been struggling in the league and were eliminated from the Jordan Cup. 

The AFC Cup was previously won three times by Jordanian teams: Faisali won titles in 2005 and 2006, and Shabab Urdun won in 2007. 

 

It is Wihdat’s 10th time in the competition after their ambitions of competing among top tier teams were dashed early when they were eliminated from the preliminary round of 2017 AFC Asian Champions League. Jordanian teams have never before made it past the ACL preliminary round. Wihdat were knocked out in 2016 and 2015, while Shabab Urdun were eliminated in 2014.

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