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West Zonal Semi-final - 1st Leg: Al Jaish 3-0 Al Jazeera

Arad: A brace from Bassel Moustafa and a late Mohammed Al Wakid strike earned 10-man Al Jaish an emphatic 3-0 victory over Jordan’s Al Jazeera in the first leg of the 2019 AFC Cup West Zonal Semi-finals on Tuesday.

Al Jazeera were hopeful of taking home a result that could help them reach the West Zonal final for the second time running, but they faced the challenge of an Al Jaish side that had not lost in their last eight AFC Cup games.

The Jordanians started brightly and were in complete control for the first 25 minutes, threatening first through Abdullah Al Attar’s header which narrowly missed the target, then through Omar Al Manasrah’s long range strike.

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As the first half drew to a close, the Syrians suffered a blow as midfielder Abdul Malik Al Anizan was shown a straight red card in added time for a heavy tackle on Al Manasrah.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, coach Tarek Jabban’s dressing room talk worked magic as Al Jaish returned from the break a different side.

Moustafa moved into space inside Al Jazeera’s box and met Ahmad Bawadjki’s cross with a header into the back of the net 12 minutes after the restart to hand his side the lead.

Before Al Jazeera could recover from the shock, Al Jaish’s number 11 doubled their troubles. Moustafa received Al Wakid’s pass outside the box and drilled his shot into the bottom corner to make it 2-0 in the 62nd minute.

Al Wakid then turned from provider to scorer. The midfielder tried his luck from 35 yards out and his thunderous effort nestled into the roof of the net to further sink the visitors with just 11 minutes left on the clock.

Five minutes of added time and the best efforts of Ahmad Saleh and Mahmoud Al Mardi could not produce a goal for Al Jazeera as Al Jaish celebrated a famous victory at the final whistle.

The result means Al Jazeera face an uphill battle when they welcome Al Jaish to Amman International Stadium for the return leg in a week’s time.

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