Uzbekistan bank on home support against Jordan in playoff

Sunday 8 Sep 2013

Hossam Hassan's Jordan still hopeful of World Cup ticket despite 1-1 draw in the first leg

Hossam Hassan
Egyptian Hossam Hassan, head coach of Jordan (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Uzbekistan will bank on home advantage to advance past Jordan in the return leg of their World Cup Asia zone playoff in Tashkent on Tuesday as both teams vie to keep alive their hopes of making a maiden appearance in the finals in Brazil next year.

Uzbekistan scored a vital away goal against Jordan, who have a stellar record at home, during their scrappy 1-1 draw in the first leg of the playoff in Amman on Friday.

The Asian winners will progress to an intercontinental playoff in November against the fifth-placed South American side, currently Uruguay, for a World Cup berth.

Uzbekistan coach Mirdjalal Kasimov was relieved having achieved the minimum requirement for his team in the away leg and hoped the support at home will carry them through.

"We achieved the minimum goal and now I believe we will do our job in Tashkent and qualify for the next round," he said after Friday's match.

"It will be decided in Tashkent, but with our supporters we will play for them and I believe we will qualify."

Australia, Iran, Japan and South Korea have already booked the four automatic berths from Asia for the prestigious quadrennial event in 2014.

Jordan had defeated Australia, Japan and Oman at home during their qualifying campaign but had a poor record as travellers, which saw them finish third in their group.

Egyptian Hossam Hassan, who replaced Adnan Hamad as head coach of Jordan in June, was confident that there was still a lot to play for on Tuesday.

"The players did not apply what I had told them, but we were still able to score a goal," Hassan, who played for Egypt at the 1990 World Cup in Italy, said.

"It is still half-time and we will play the second game in Tashkent on Tuesday."

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