Thu, 28 Oct, 2021
Dushanbe: Hassan Abdel-Fatteh struck a hat-trick as Jordan kicked-off their 2018 FIFA World Cup/2019 AFC Asian Cup joint-qualifying campaign with an impressive 3-1 away win over Tajikistan on Thursday.
The 32-year-old opened the scoring just before the half-hour mark at the Central Stadium in the Tajik capital, with the Qatar-based midfielder’s goal all that separated the two sides until he scored his and Jordan’s second in the 64th minute.
The Hashemite Kingdom’s two-goal advantage lasted just two minutes, with Manuchehr Dzhalilov, who scored four times to help FC Istiklol reach the quarter-finals of the 2015 AFC Cup, pulling one back for the home side.
The former Lokomotiv Moscow reserve midfielder’s 66th minute looked to have completed the scoring but with just two minutes left on the clock Abdel-Fatteh completed his hat-trick as Jordan joined Kyrgyzstan at the top of the table after the Central Asians recorded an identical 3-1 win over Bangladesh in Thursday’s other Group B fixture.
The teams in Round 2 will compete according to a double round robin format, with the qualification matches held between June 11, 2015 to March 29, 2016.
The group winners and four best runners-up (total 12 teams) will advance to the 2019 Asian Cup finals and the final round of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.
The next best 24 teams from the preliminary stage of the joint qualifiers will compete in a separate competition for the remaining slots (12 slots or 11 slots + 1 slot for the host) in the 24-team 2019 Asian Cup finals.