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Jordan’s new approach did the trick against Nepal in Asian Qualifiers triumph, says Borkelmans


Kuwait City: Jordan head coach Vital Borkelmans was pleased with his side’s horses for courses approach, after a tactical switch helped his team to an important 3-0 Asian Qualifiers win against Nepal on Monday.

A switch to a two-man frontline of Baisa Faisal and Yazan Al Naimat paid dividends for Al Nashama, who went two goals ahead thanks to a Faisal brace before defender Yazan Al Arab made the points safe in the 67th minute.

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Faisal had played a lone hand in attack in most of Jordan’s previous Asian Qualifiers matches, but Borkelmans said he had been pleased to make adjustments as required to claim the crucial three points on offer against Nepal

“We had a good formation today as what is required from us in the match and in each match requires the use of different tactics,” said the Belgian tactician.

“We were hoping to have more goals scored tonight as we created a lot of chances. We had a good performance and despite missing the chances that we created, we achieved what was important at the end.”

The win puts Jordan into an advantageous position in the race for second place.

They now sit three points clear of third-placed Kuwait, with wins in their final two matches against the group hosts and runaway leaders Australia to guarantee them a top two finish and give them a fighting chance of advancing to the Third Round of qualifying for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

Borkelmans, who targeted a perfect nine points from his side’s three matches in Kuwait prior to this international window, wasted little time looking ahead to Friday’s must-win clash.

“We have now an important match against Kuwait next Friday and we will start preparing for the match right from tonight,” he said.

Meanwhile, Nepal head coach Abdullah Al Mutairi couldn’t fault his players for their efforts, despite a defeat which officially ended their World Cup qualification hopes.

Fresh from a spirit-lifting 2-0 win against Chinese Taipei four days prior, the South Asian side were outclassed against their more seasoned opponents, but not through a lack of trying according to their Kuwaiti coach.

“I hold responsibility for the defeat because all the players had a great performance tonight,” said Al Mutairi. “However, we conceded three goals from dead-ball situations which helped Jordan to win the match.

“The goal that Jordan scored from a penalty affected our players while it eased the pressure on our opponents. I hope that the players will not be criticised a lot for this defeat because they gave their best tonight.”

Nepal will complete their Group B duties against Australia on Friday, with Al Mutairi promising another committed effort from a side which has impressed many by picking up two wins despite their FIFA ranking of 171.

“We will keep fighting for Nepal in the next match against Australia,” he declared.

“We will not rely only on defence, instead we will have a balanced method to the match. If we lose against Australia, it will be with great honor.”

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