Amman: Jordanian rivals Al Jazeera and Al Faisaly played out a 1-1 draw in the first leg of the 2018 AFC Cup West Zonal Semi-finals.
Musa Al Taamari’s fifth goal of the campaign fired Al Jazeera in front inside 14 minutes. The winger broke free on the right flank to latch onto Abdullah Al Attar’s pass behind Al Faisaly defence. He then showed some excellent close control skills to move past the defender and apply a composed finish from a tight angle to beat goalkeeper Moataz Yaseen.
Al Jazeera were dealt a blow in the 26th minute when Syrian midfielder Mardik Mardikian was shown a straight red card for an elbow on Al Faisaly captain Ibrahim Al Zawahreh.
The visitors from the capital Amman capitalise on their one-man advantage and grabbed an equaliser three minutes before the half time break through Lukasz Gikiewicz. The Polish striker lost his marker inside the box and expertly took his header from Yousef Al Rawashdeh’s cross to net his fourth goal of the 2018 AFC Cup season.
Anas Bani Yaseen nearly caught Al Jazeera goalkeeper Ahmad Nawwas off-guard with a long-range strike four minutes from time, but the hosts’ custodian was alert and made the save.
The two teams lock horns again next week when Al Faisaly will have the advantage of an away goal as they fight for a place in the Zonal Final against the winner between Air Force Club and Al Ahed.