AFC U23 Championship
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Jordan's Al Razem rues lack of focus against Malaysia

Sunday, January 14, 2018
Jordan's Mohammad Al Razem

Changshu: Mohammad Al Razem has blamed misfortune and his side’s inability to focus for a full 90 minutes for Jordan twice surrendering winning positions at the AFC U23 Championship 2018.

Iain Brunskill’s team slipped to a 1-1 draw with Malaysia on Saturday, three days after losing a two-goal lead against Saudi Arabia to share the points with their fellow west Asians in their tournament-opening game.

Those results leave the Jordanians on two points from their two games and mean they must win against group leaders Iraq on Tuesday to advance to the quarter-finals.

It was Al Rezam’s vision and passing that unlocked the Malaysian defence for Ward Al Barri’s goal on Saturday,, the midfielder playing an exquisite diagonal ball to Al Barri as the full-back raced behind the backline to score.

But Safawi Rashid’s equaliser from the penalty spot two minutes before the break earned Malaysia a point to leave Al Rezam and his teammates frustrated once again.

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"We have worked in training on playing long passes behind the defence and this is how we got the first goal,” said Al Rezam. “But we should have ended the first half with a better result, we should have scored more goals.

“Malaysia’s goal distracted our team. That happened because of our lack of concentration for short periods during the match. We are producing good performances in the matches, but we suffered a lack of luck and also a lack of concentration in front of goal.”

Al Rezam will miss the game against Iraq due to suspension, but he is backing his teammates to pick up the result needed to keep their challenge for the trophy alive.

"I am going to miss the last match against Iraq because I got the second yellow card, but I have full confidence in my colleagues and we just promised each other in the dressing room that we still have a chance, and we must get the required result against Iraq.

"This group of players is great for Jordan, there are several players already in the national team, three or four are starting players with the national team, and many others are also in the starting list with their teams. But the problem we have is a lack of luck.”

Photos: AFC