Jordan defeat Socceroos in Al Ain
The Socceroos have started their AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™ campaign with a defeat, going down to Jordan 1-0 at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium on Sunday night.
Despite dominating for large periods, Graham Arnold’s side were undone by Anas Bani Yaseen’s first-half header.
Australia laid siege to Jordan’s goal after the break but were continually denied what would have been a deserved equaliser by some desperate defending.
RELIVE: Socceroos go down to Jordan in AFC Asian Cup opener
SOCCEROOS PODCAST: Listen in to all the news and views
LIVE BLOG: Keep across all the latest from Socceroos camp
BROADCAST: How to watch Australia at AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019TM
Awer Mabil hit the post as the Socceroos created chance after chance in the second half, with Chris Ikonomidis, Jackson Irvine and Tom Rogic all going close.
But it wasn’t to be Australia’s day, with Graham Arnold’s side to now quickly turn their focus to Friday night’s second group match against Palestine.
The Socceroos enjoyed plenty of possession in the early stages, with Jordan content to sit back and denied Australia space around their box.
Awer Mabil was looking the most threatening and almost gave Australia the lead on 13 minutes, getting in behind the Jordan defence on the left but his shot was well stopped by the keeper.
The let-off seemed to give Jordan a boost and they would go on to take the lead on 25 minutes.
Bani Yaseen managed to break free from his defender at a corner, planting an unstoppable header into the top corner of the net.
And the Socceroos had keeper Maty Ryan to thank for not falling further behind soon after.
Bahaa Abdulrahman hit a rasping free-kick from the edge of the box which was headed for the top corner, only for Ryan to produce a stunning fingertip save, tipping the ball onto the crossbar and away.
Rhyan Grant replaced Josh Risdon at right-back at the break and Australia immediately got on the front foot as they chased an equaliser.
And it almost came just after the hour mark as Tom Rogic let fly from 25 metres out with his shot spilled by the keeper, before substitute Chris Ikonomidis just failed to turn in the rebound.
It began a period of concerted pressure from Australia as they pushed Jordan back and probed for an opening.
Rogic could have done better 19 minutes from time when he was on the end of Aziz Behich’s low cross, but the Celtic playmaker fired over the bar.
Australia went even closer soon after when Mabil made space for himself inside the box and rifled off a vicious strike which cannoned onto the post.
It was wave after wave of Socceroos attack now and Ikonomidis was again involved in the thick of the action, with his goal-bound header hacked off the line by a defender.
The Socceroos did have the ball in the net with four minutes left through Jamie Maclaren, only for the striker to be denied his first international goal by an offside flag.
Ikonomidis was denied again in stoppage-time as Jordan held on for a famous win.
Caltex Socceroos defender Jurman departs Al-Ittihad
Caltex Socceroos defender Matthew Jurman is on the lookout for a new club after announcing he has left his Saudi Arabian side Al-Ittihad. Jurman confirmed on social media he is now a "free agent" and thanked the club for allowing him to experience playing in the Saudi Pro Leag
Taggart joins De Bruyne and Ibrahimovic in FIFA 19 TOTW
Adam Taggart has earned a spot in the FIFA 19 Team of the Week after his hat-trick heroics for Suwon Bluewings. The Australian joins Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne, LA Galaxy striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Arsenal midfielder Dani Ceballos in the latest release of 'in for
Australia U-23 squad named to face New Zealand U-23
Gary van Egmond has named a 24-man squad for Australia U-23's upcoming two-match series against New Zealand U-23 in Wollongong and Campbelltown. The matches, to be played at WIN Stadium in Wollongong on Friday 6 September and in Campbelltown on Monday 9 September will serve as