A physically superior Jordan muscled their way to a 7-0 win over Cambodia in a Group C tie at the King Abdullah II Stadium in Amman on Tuesday night, as Afghanistan and Vietnam shared two second half goals in a 1-1 draw at a neutral venue in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, as the third round of qualifiers for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates got underway.
It was a sad commentary on Cambodia’s poor defending skills and almost nonexistent firepower, as 25-year old Hamza Al Dardour led the onslaught with a hat-trick in what was a repeat of his classic goal-poaching show against Palestine at the 2015 Cup tie in Melbourne where he scored four in the team’s 5-1 victory.
Cambodia’s Brazilian coach Leonardo Vitorino said after the humbling defeat: “This level is totally different [to what we are used to]. Jordan have so many players with international experience, playing at a high level. One of them plays for Real Madrid B.
“Our players play in the local league. Just two players now play outside– one in Thailand and one in Japan.
“Today we are crying, but I know in the future we will be happy.”
Yaseen Bakheet, Odai Al Saify, Ahmad Saleh and Mousa Mohammad struck a goal each as Jordan virtually pitched their tent in the Cambodian half and hardly had any worry about threats at the other end.
Young Oum Sereyrath had a miserable time in the Cambodian goal as a clueless backline often came under siege.
Vitorino’s strategy of using the trio of Chan Vathanaka, Khoun Laboravy and Prak Mony Udom up front to break up Jordan’s rhythm backfired as they could hardly string together any cohesive attempts, while individually often not getting deep enough.
Jordan made their aggressive intentions known within the first 20 minutes of the game. Al Dardour opened the scoring in the 12th minute with a tidy finish after Al Saify’s shot had been saved by Sereyrath. Nine minutes later the two combined again to double the lead, Al Saify putting Al Dardour through after drawing out Sereyrath.
The next 25 minutes before the break perhaps signified the best part of a bad evening for Cambodia, but seconds after the resumption Bakheet beat the goalkeeper hands down from inside the penalty area.
With attacks flowing at regular intervals the arrival of the next goal was only a matter of time. It came soon enough when Abu Amara hit the woodwork and Al Saify was there to greet the rebound.
With four goals in the bag, substitute Saleh rammed home the fifth after enjoying acres of space inside the area and Al Dardour was back to punish Cambodia’s rickety defence.
The home team was not done yet as Mohammad hammered home the final nail with the seventh goal in the last minute of play.
This was Cambodia’s second heaviest defeat since they lost 10-0 to Indonesia back in 1995.