DUBAI: Jordan became the first team to reach the knockout stage of the Asian Cup in the UAE after beating Group B rivals Syria 2-0.

Mousa Suleiman struck first in the 26th minute and although Syria had more possession Jordan doubled their lead just before half-time through Tareq Khattab at a corner.

Jordan, who defending champions Australia in their opening game, lead Group B with six points.

Earlier, in Group A, Thailand beat Bahrain 1-0, meaning the losers must beat India in their final match to keep their knockout stage hopes alive.

As head coach Miroslav Soukup had promised, Bahrain started aggressively and seized control of the match from the first blow of the whistle.

Thailand, however, were compact defensively with interim head coach Sirisak Yodyardthai making five changes to the team that lost to India and were able to deal with the Bahrain attacks easily.

The Southeast Asians relied on counter attacks, coming close in the 20th minute but captain Teerasil Dangda’s effort was blocked by Bahrain goalkeeper Sayed Shubbar Alawi.

Bahrain had their chances too as they kept Thai goalkeeper Sivarak Tedsungnoen busy, with the custodian pulling off a double-save against Mohamed Marhood and Sayed Dhiya Saeed in the 28th minute.

Bahrain had a glimpse at goal four minutes from the end of the half with Marhoon sending in a superb cross but Mohamed Al Romaihi failed to keep his header down.

As Bahrain failed to translate their dominance into goals, Thailand started the second half on a more promising note as they become adventurous in their forays upfront.

It was an approach that paid dividends in the 58th minute as Tristan Do launched a cross into the Bahrain penalty box. The ball was deflected by Ahmed Ali Juma but a surging Chanathip was quick to send a left-footed shot past ‘keeper Shubbar Alawi.

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Mousa Suleiman broke the scoreless deadlock in the 26th minute of the match as he deflected a shot towards the goal that left the Syrian keeper helpless.
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FOX Sports LIVE!✔@FSAsiaLive 27′ GOAL! Jordan score! 1-0!
Jordan finally make all their pressure count as the ball is turned in by Musa Al-Taamari. #AsianCup2019 #BringItAll #JORvSYR
91:58 PM – Jan 10, 2019See FOX Sports LIVE!’s other TweetsTwitter Ads info and privacyJordan were relentless with their attacks as they kept coming in wave after wave to test the mettle of the Syrian defence that was leaky at best.
The match was definitely physical as a lot was riding on this battle for the two teams but Jordan settled in really quickly despite not enjoying much of the possession in the first half.

Despite only having 38 per cent of the possession in the first 45 minutes, they were able to spring out 11 shots and doubled their lead just before half-time as Tareq Khattab scored in the 43rd.
This time it was from a set-piece as a perfectly-executed corner resulted in the centre-back having a great run towards the goal for a header that froze the Syrian defence.
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FOX Sports LIVE!✔@FSAsiaLive 43′ GOAL! Jordan score again! 2-0!
And once again it is via a set piece that Jordan punish their opponents. Centre back Tareq Khattab rifling the header in this time.
Jordan with one foot in the round of 16 already. #AsianCup2019 #BringItAll #JORvSYR
82:15 PM – Jan 10, 2019See FOX Sports LIVE!’s other TweetsTwitter Ads info and privacyIn the second half, Syria made a change and brought in Mahmoud Almawas in place of Mardek Mrdkian who was lucky not to be given a red card after a reckless tackle very early in the match.
However it was still Jordan trying to put on the pressure as they kept on attacking and pressing on the defence of Syria; looking for a third goal that would put the result beyond doubt.
The pressure kept building that they committed mistakes and even surrendered an own goal as they scrambled to avoid being caught out by Jordan.
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FOX Sports LIVE!✔@FSAsiaLive 54′ Almost an own goal!
Ibrahim Alma does well to get down quickly and save Saeed Murjan’s shot. However, the rebound hits Ahmad Al Salih’s head and almost goes in for an own goal! #AsianCup2019 #BringItAll #JORvSYR
22:45 PM – Jan 10, 2019See FOX Sports LIVE!’s other TweetsTwitter Ads info and privacySyria’s moments were few and far between, and when they had a real chance, the Jordan defence was ready to thwart their attempts. Amer Shafi was tough to beat on the night.
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FOX Sports LIVE!✔@FSAsiaLive 71′ Save!
Jordan’s Amer Shafi gets down superbly to deny Omar Khribin from getting a goal back. #AsianCup2019 #BringItAll #JORvSYR
33:02 PM – Jan 10, 2019See FOX Sports LIVE!’s other TweetsTwitter Ads info and privacyEven in the dying moments of the match, Jordan were still on the front foot as this seemed to be their statement performance for other contenders in the AFC Asian Cup. An impressive free kick almost caught the Syrian keeper off-guard as a slight touch changed the ball’s trajectory, if not only for the keeper’s right foot being in the way, the score would have been 3-0.
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FOX Sports LIVE!✔@FSAsiaLive 88′ Save!
Ibrahim Alma makes a stunning save to deny Jordan their third goal! Surely one of the saves of the competition so far. #AsianCup2019 #BringItAll #JORvSYR
83:18 PM – Jan 10, 2019See FOX Sports LIVE!’s other TweetsTwitter Ads info and privacy
After 90 minutes of play, Jordan have now beaten the defending champions Australia and rivals Syria as they make their case as real contenders.
They are atop Group B with six points, while Palestine, Syria and Australia are far behind.
COMMENTS

Chanathip Songkrasin was the hero as the Southeast Asians secured a remarkable result after their 4-1 defeat to India on Matchday One.

For Bahrain, who drew 1-1 with the United Arab Emirates in their opener, the defeat means they will have to beat India in their final match to keep their knockout stage hopes alive.See also :

As head coach Miroslav Soukup had promised, Bahrain started aggressively and seized control of the match from the first blow of the whistle.

Thailand, however, were compact defensively with interim head coach Sirisak Yodyardthai making five changes to the team that lost to India and were able to deal with the Bahrain attacks easily.
The Southeast Asians relied on counter attacks, coming close in the 20th minute but captain Teerasil Dangda’s effort was blocked by Bahrain goalkeeper Sayed Shubbar Alawi.

Bahrain had their chances too as they kept Thai goalkeeper Sivarak Tedsungnoen busy, with the custodian pulling off a double-save against Mohamed Marhood and Sayed Dhiya Saeed in the 28th minute.

Bahrain had a glimpse at goal four minutes from the end of the half with Marhoon sending in a superb cross but Mohamed Al Romaihi failed to keep his header down.
As Bahrain failed to translate their dominance into goals, Thailand started the second half on a more promising note as they become adventurous in their forays upfront.

It was an approach that paid dividends in the 58th minute as Tristan Do launched a cross into the Bahrain penalty box. The ball was deflected by Ahmed Ali Juma but a surging Chanathip was quick to send a left-footed shot past ‘keeper Shubbar Alawi.
Boosted by the goal, Thailand went in search of a second and the War Elephants came extremely close to doubling their lead when Songkrasin’s pass found an unmarked Adisak Kraisorn but his effort was denied by the upright in the 71st minute.

In their final group stage matches, Bahrain will take on India at the Sharjah Stadium, while Thailand play host nation United Arab Emirates in Al Ain’s Hazza bin Zayed Stadium on Monday.Recommended Stories :

Match statsBahrain4-2-3-10-1Thailand5-4-1AFC Asian CupThursday 10 January 2019Bahrain1Sayed Shubbar AlawiGK3Waleed Al HayamDF4Sayed Dhiya SaeedMF5Hamed AlshamsanDF7Ali Al SafiMF8Mohamed Marhoon 65′MF11Ali Jaafar Madan 79′MF12Ahmed Ali Juma 64′DF13Mohamed Al RomaihiFW16Sayed Redha IsaDF19Komail AlaswadMFSubstitutes9Mahdi Alhumaidan 79′Sub10Abdulla Yusuf Helal 65′Sub20Sami Al Husaini 64′SubManager-Miroslav SoukupMANThailand3Theerathon BunmathanDF5Adison Promrak 45+1’90+2′DF6Pansa Hemviboon 13′DF8Thitipan PuangchanMF9Adisak Kraisorn 43’80′MF10Teerasil DangdaFW15Suphan Thongsong 20′DF17Tanaboon Kesarat 68′MF18Chanathip Songkrasin 58′MF19Tristan DoDF23Sivarak TedsungnoenGKSubstitutes14Sanrawat Dechmitr 68′Sub16Mika Chunuonsee 90+2′Sub22Supachai Jaided 80′SubManager-Sirisak YodyardthaiMAN