The soccer at the 2023 Asian Cup has been exciting.
Hussein, the man behind Iraq’s come-from-behind goal, was sent off by the referee for a series of cards after running a full lap around the pitch and then sitting on the ground to eat. Outnumbered and outgunned, Iraq suffered a Jordanian onslaught, eventually conceding two goals and falling to a 2-1 defeat.
Jordan scored two second-half goals in stoppage time to earn a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over Iraq in the round of 16 of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup 2023 at the Khalifa International Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, on Monday (June 29).
Iraq was the favorite in Group D with Japan, winning three games to top the group. Jordan finished third in Group E with South Korea to advance to the round of 16. On paper, the odds were in Iraq’s favor.
However, Jordan took the lead in first-half stoppage time when Al-Naimat intercepted a pass from the Iraqi defense and dribbled in alone.
In the second half, Jordan dropped back to defend, which led to a crisis.
Iraq pushed for an equalizer and finally got it in the 23rd minute when Natik used his height to head home a corner kick.
Seven minutes later, in the 30th minute of the second half, Hussein, the tournament’s top scorer with five goals, turned the game on its head with a pinpoint finish into the opposite corner from inside the box. Up until this point, it was all Iraq, but Hussein’s celebration was too long. After jumping over a billboard and running nearly halfway around the track to the delight of the crowd, Hussein returned to the pitch to eat his meal before being shown a yellow card by the referee, which was quickly followed by a red card and ejection. Hussain already had one yellow card in the first half. The AFC website listed excessive celebration as the reason for the caution.
Despite their numerical advantage, Jordan were unable to find the back of the net until five minutes into second-half stoppage time. After Altamari’s shot was saved by the goalkeeper, the onrushing Yazan Alarab slotted home to tie the game. Jordan would have had the advantage heading into extra time, but just two minutes later, Al-Nasheedan’s sharp mid-range shot rattled the net to complete a dramatic comeback.
The Iraqis despaired, while the Jordanians celebrated their victory by circling the field with their national flag.
Jordan will face Tajikistan in the quarterfinals.