Jordan Women’s National Team recorded an unprecedented accomplishment by defeating a European National Team, as they managed to beat Latvia 2-1 in a friendly that was held on Tuesday, September 26, at the Arkādija stadium, Riga.
In an interesting encounter, our National Team managed to take the lead early in the game, as Mai Sweilem converted Ayah Majali’s cross from a 50-meter ranged free kick coming from the left side into the back of the net.
The goal took the hosts by surprise, as they tried to equalize the score for the remainder of the first half. The Jordanian National Team had a number of chances to double the lead, notably when Sweilem penetrated the left side swiftly but then got denied, only for Anfal Al Soufy to return and dribble through the team and enter the edge of penalty box, but the Latvian defense managed to clear her cross away from danger in the last moment.
Goalkeeper Malak Shannak also played a role to maintain Jordan’s lead as she made an incredible save, stopping a real goal scoring chance for Latvia in the 23rd minute. Haya Khalil was close to score from a header, but her attempt went inches wide following a corner kick.
The coaching staff lead by Micheal Dickey then made some changes to the formation, as Stephanie Al Naber who started on the left side switched to the center, Sarah Abu Sabbah moved from center midfield to the front, Mai Sweilem switched from right to left, and Hannah Kousheh went from the striker position to the right wing.
The hosts managed to equalize only seconds from the end of first half, with a shot from edge of the penalty box.
Changes in formation proved worthy in the second half, with a rapid run and a fast counter-attack from Kousheh on the right, that found Abu Sabbah up front, who then passed the ball diagonally to captain Al Naber, but her strike missed the target by a fraction.
Substitute Luna Al Masri, who just recently recovered from a knee surgery, was the game changer as she struck the winner in the 81st minute.
The match took a dramatic turn in the final minutes, as Al Soufy got sent off in the 86th minute, and the Jordanian team was forced to play with 10 players for the remainder of the game. However, the team held on to the lead till the final whistle, recording a deserved win against a strong and technically rich Latvian side.
Jordan’s lineup vs Latvia:
Malak Shannak – Rouzbahan Fraij, Ayah Al Majali, Lana Firas, Anfal Al Soufy, Haya Khalil (Heba Fakhreddin), Tasneem Abu Rob, Sarah Abu Sabbah, Mai Sweilem (Razan Al Zagha, Shorouq Shathli), Stephanie Al Naber, Hannah Kousheh (Luna Al Masri)