DOHA: Jordan will play with “one heart and one soul” when they face hosts and reigning champions Qatar in tomorrow’s Asian Cup final, defender Salem Al-Ajalin said.
Jordan are contesting their first final and in front of a partisan crowd at the 88,000-capacity Lusail Stadium in Doha will be the underdogs.
Jordan, who are 87th in the Fifa rankings compared to Qatar’s 58, will be cheered on by a small but vocal group of their own supporters for the biggest match in the country’s history.
The players’ families have been flown in and Ajalin said that will help spur the team on as they look to pull off another shock, having defeated South Korea 2-0 in the semifinals.
“We play with one heart, one soul, we are united,” said the 35-year-old Ajalin today.
“Reaching the final is an achievement for everyone and it is nice to have our family with us and present in the audience.”
Ajalin said that spirit of togetherness is one of the key reasons for Jordan’s shock success.
“For us as players we work in a system from the goalkeeper all the way to the attack. We all work as one unit.”
Jordan’s Moroccan coach Hussein Ammouta said he will have a full squad to choose from, including the attackers Yazan Al-Naimat and Mousa Al-Tamari, who together gave the Korean defence a torrid time.
“All the players are up for it and ready,” said Ammouta, adding that “the match will be a technical one rather than a physical one”.
Building on Ajalin’s message of unity, Ammouta said, “The results of the team are because of the collaboration and effort of everyone.
“The players are committed and disciplined.”
“But it is not just their fighting spirit. They follow the game plan to the letter.”