AMMAN – The 30th Jordan Football Association (JFA) Shield semifinals today will determine the finalists of this year’s first of four major tournaments on the local agenda.
Wihdat face Shabab Urdun while Faisali meet Kufrsoum with the winners advancing to the final match on July 29.
The top two teams from each group moved to the semis with Wihdat and Kufrsoum moving from Group 1 while Faisali and Shabab Urdun moved from Group 2.
Holders Wihdat finished the event with a five-game winning streak, scoring 15 goals and striker Mahmoud Shilbayeh scoring five and crowned the top scorer for now. Faisali, who topped Group 2, are also unbeaten but drew in two matches. Shabab Urdun, who won the title in 2007, are also unbeaten and are eyeing a title after a below par performance last season.
Jazira, previous Shield champs in 1981 and 1986, were eliminated in the first round as were Yarmouk, who won the title in 2006.
The event kicked off with Jordan Professional League clubs missing their national team players, currently on duty for World Cup qualifiers. Jordan beat Nepal 9-0 in Leg 1 on Saturday.
Last season, Wihdat grabbed all four major titles – the Jordan Professional League, the JFA Shield, the Jordan Cup and the Cup Winners’ Cup, repeating a historic 2008/09 season.
Jalil and That Ras have rejoined the Professional League after Hussein and Ahli were relegated last season. The League is slated to begin August 5 and will be preceded by the Cup Winners’ Cup, which groups League champ Wihdat and Jordan Cup runner-up Manshieh.
Looking back at the history of the Shield tournament, Wihdat are a record eight-time winners, Faisali six, Ramtha five, Hussein three times, Jazira and Amman twice each, and Shabab Urdun, Kufrsoum and Yarmouk once each. Hussein were finalists seven times. Amman have scrapped football while Qadissieh were relegated six years ago and have merged with Shabab Urdun.
Aline Bannayan, Jordan Times