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Analysis: Al Jazeera settle for a draw against Air Force Club

Friday, April 13, 2018

Irbid: Al Jazeera and Air Force Club exchanged late goals as both teams remained unbeaten and in contention for the top spot of the 2018 AFC Cup Group A.

Jordan’s Al Jazeera thought they had won it when they scored with two minutes to go, but they were clawed back with effectively the last kick of the ball to settle for a repeat of their Matchday One draw against Iraq’s Air Force Club.

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Al Attar isolated throughout

Al Jazeera had to wait until the 88th minute to break the deadlock through substitute Ahmed Al Essawi who headed home eight minutes after his introduction.

For the first 75 minutes, with Abdulla Al Attar leading the line, the Jordanians failed to pose a serious threat on Air Force Club’s defences. Al Attar was withdrawn with 15 minutes to go, having not only failed to register a single shot, but also not touched the ball inside the opposition’s penalty box all night.

The home side’s attacking struggles on Tuesday were evidenced by the fact that even when they did score, their solitary goal came from a corner-kick.

Humam wreaks havoc

Just five minutes after Al Jazeera’s goal, Air Force Club found their way back in a similar fashion. A substitute striker, in this case Amjed Radhi, headed home following a free-kick set-piece.

But while the Jordanians failed to create chances throughout, Air Force saw no shortage of scoring opportunities, largely thanks to the form of Humam Tariq who wreaked havoc down the left flank, sending as many as 10 crosses into the box.

The 22-year-old’s cross from the free-kick set up Radhi for a last-gasp equaliser, and his deliveries from open play were just as accurate, with 60 percent of them finding a teammate.

Latent Al Taamari threat

Musa Al Taamari failed to add to his three 2018 AFC Cup strikes for Al Jazeera, having scored from the spot in the reverse fixture on Matchday One. Despite his blank output, the right winger remained the hosts’ most dangerous player.

On Tuesday, Al Taamari constantly made runs behind Air Force defenders, finding space to create opportunities for himself and teammates. The youngster took two shots at Fahad Talib’s goal, more than any other Al Jazeera player.

The 20-year-old tucked inside and applied pressure on Air Force Club’s centre-back Sebastijan Antic. He was his side’s most advanced forward as the above average positioning map demonstrates.

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