Mousa’s brace earns Jordan victory over Pakistan [The News]

Mousa’s brace earns Jordan victory over Pakistan [The News]

by Abdul Mohi Shah

ISLAMABAD: Mousa Al Tamari struck a brace as Jordan prevailed over fighting Pakistan 3-0 in the World Cup Soccer 2026 Qualifying Round match here at the Jinnah Stadium Thursday.

In front of a comparatively thinner 10000 crowd, Mousa struck on spot-kick in the second minute of the match and then added another from a beautifully initiated one-two combination to make it 3-0 in the 86th minute.

Earlier, Ali Olwan netted the second in the 9th minute through a penalty following a striking circle infringement. Pakistan started off the match nervously against the powerful Jordan team, allowing the visitors to unleash a barrage of attacks at the outset.

The hosts conceded two goals in the first ten minutes and narrowly escaped some close calls which were mostly thwarted by Yousaf Ijaz Butt under the bar. It was Mousa’s spot kick that enthralled the crowd in the very second minute of the match. Neatly taken kick from outside the circle gave no chance to Yousaf.

The second goal seven minutes later gave Jordan early command and a hope of many more to come. “We got off to a slow start more because of the pressure exerted by Jordan and the way they were awarded a spot kick and then a penalty. Two goals at such an early stage left the hosts in a spot of bother. From there on the team started regrouping and played remarkably well,” Pakistan head coach Stephen Constantine said in a post-match media talk.

The hosts matched the visiting Jordan team in every definition of the game in the second half where they were seen in an attacking mood. Pakistan defenders Abdul Samad and Adeel Younis were seen counter-attacking, making inroads into Jordan’s defence time and again.

Fareedullah missed a golden opportunity in the 59th minute to reduce the margin when he fumbled with the ball with only the Jordanian keeper at his mercy. It followed some more misses from Pakistan side with Adeel also throwing away a couple of chances to strike on target.

Jordan was also not far behind as on no less than three occasions their forwards hit the pole and were even seen messing up with opportunities coming their way.

Mousa was brought down in the 81st minute by Abdullah Iqbal within the striking circle as Jordan earned their second penalty of the day.

Yousaf Ijaz Butt brilliantly saved the penalty to the cheers of the crowd. Five minutes later he was unable to check a brilliant move initiated by Mousa who himself finished it off to make it 3-0.

“We were hopeful of converting more opportunities which we could not. In the end, the three points we got were enough to make us progress at the table. Now we would look for more goals in the return match set to be played on March 26 in Jordan,” Jordan coach Musa Al Hussain said.

He praised the Pakistan team for keeping the Asia Cup finalists at bay for most of the time. “We respect the Pakistan team a lot. They were good today, especially in the second half where we could only manage one goal. We need to get big wins to progress to the top of Group G,” he said. He also lauded his star player Mousa Tamari for playing good football and becoming a consistent threat to Pakistan defenders.

Published in The News, 22 March 2024

Mousa rues missed opportunity

ISLAMABAD: Mousa Al Tamari’s second goal from a one-two combination was more a reaction to a missed opportunity coming his way on penalty. In a post-match media talk, responding to ‘The News’ question, Mousa said he was upset at missing the penalty.

“It was an easy opportunity coming my way to score the third goal. Keeper however saved it, stretching fully to his right. Once I missed that, I was looking to make amends. I knew I would get a chance. When it finally I made my move with the help of my partner and scored it the way I wanted to.” He said he enjoyed his game here.“Surely we were expecting some more goals against Pakistan in the first leg. We would try to do that in the returned match four days later,” he said. Pakistan goalkeeper Yousaf Ijaz Butt saved no less than five sure goal-scoring opportunities and even made it difficult for the Jordan team to get easy access in the striking circle. He said he tried his best to check the goal-scoring.